A suggestion to practice forgiveness towards those at whose hands we have felt at the mercy of, terrorized and abused by, is easily misread as condoning or tolerating the unacceptable. It is a commonly held notion that it is healthy to maintain a certain level of justified anger towards those we have felt mistreated by; it is a common belief that such anger is necessary for self-protection. I understand the confusion, having once felt similarly. Not so anymore.
I have come to know the world less literally, and more energetically instead. That has made a huge difference, not so much perhaps in how I externally deal with what is deemed abusive, but on how I understand things on an inner level – which is where true change takes place. The mind, after all, is the only place where lives are truly transformed.
In my outer response to the world, I remain one who firmly believes in the repercussions and consequences elicited by one's actions and choices. I think it's important, for instance, that an abuser be allowed to experience the consequences of their behavior. I am a firm believer in self-responsibility as the true path to personal and spiritual maturity.
To take it a step further, I believe that to allow consequences, rather than to make excuses for, or tolerate inappropriate behavior, is an act of love and forgiveness, even when such consequences include things like losing physical connection and relationship. It might mean jail time, or other types of loss of rights or privileges.
It is a loving act to allow (and at times deliver) consequences because it is through the learning that comes from dealing with the consequences of our choices that we are shaped by Reality towards a life experience that produces greater internal and external harmony. Seen from that understanding, it quickly becomes evident that to stay around while someone abuses us is not a loving thing to do for either of us because to do so reinforces behavior that alienates, rather than unites us.
To think energetically we must see the world through a vision that understands that we are each traveling on our own purposeful and intentional, vibrational life path. It is a life path that is energetically aligned with, because it is produced by, our own belief system. It is a life path that takes us straight to the people and situations that will emulate and reflect that same belief system.
There is no coincidence or mistake in the people and situations we encounter on this life path. We will automatically be steered towards the people and situations that we are energetically lined up with; we are led to those who share the frequency we generate inside our own minds. For most of us the frequency pathway we are on is one that was set in place a long time ago. The frequency of the path we travel is determined by the vibrational frequency of what we currently believe, which for most of us, consist of old, un-investigated, and unhappy beliefs from childhood.
We made decisions early in life that we have not only never questioned, but that were not even necessarily made conscious! They just sort of run in the background, much the way some people keep a TV going in the background. These early life decisions generated an energy field made up of our beliefs about ourselves and life, that transmit an energy that attracts to us the life experiences that will verify what we believe.
For instance, among the things we decide about ourselves are how it is we expect to be treated. We have internalized expectations that we will be adored, tolerated, bullied, ignored, abused, dismissed, put down, berated, etc, etc., all depending on how we interpreted our interactions with others back when we were children. We then spend our lives (until we learn to stop) attracting and training the people with whom we relate most intimately to live up to those expectations.
In other words, if we felt abandoned, rejected, or abused as a child, we will attract to ourselves people who will treat us similarly, and we will react to them in ways that invite them to continue mistreating us. What I am describing is an energetic process that happens automatically and can be summarized thusly: our relationship with others (especially those closest to us) will be a faithful replay of our own childhood drama and will reflect the beliefs and assumptions we carry about who we are and what we can expect from the world. End of sentence. Period. This is simply the way it is: the world mirrors our internal belief system to us.
This does not MAKE US RESPONSIBLE for the inappropriate, cruel behavior of another! They, like us, do what they do because they, like us, believe their own extremely painful, negative thoughts. We are not in charge of what they think or do! We ARE RESPONSIBLE for the energy field of beliefs that attracted such a person into our energy field, although we cannot assume that responsibility until we recognize it!
It is critical that we understand that we generate and maintain by way of our own belief system the energy that makes abuse possible. It is that energy pathway made up of our own judgmental, painful beliefs (about ourselves mostly) that we blindly believe, that keeps us drawn to and attracting those who mistreat us. These abusers serve a vital function in our life. Through their treatment of us, they show us the nature of our own painful relationship with ourselves and the world.
Forgiveness of self is critical if we are to change our inner frequency so that we can generate a different energy field. This is how we eliminate abuse from our lives.
Forgiveness means to let go of the limited definition of ourselves with all its expectations for a painful, rejecting, abusive life, and reframe the unkind beliefs we hold against ourselves to ones that attract a higher frequency life experience. This is what I did. It's what I teach others to do, and it works every time.
How do we do it?
By seeing those who mistreat us as being a reflection of the belief system we have maintained that keeps attracting more abuse to us. Instead of blaming them for what they do/did to us … we step back (and sometimes entirely away) from them and our judgments of them, we detach from the need to control or change them, and we instead observe them closely. We look to them as examples of how we treat ourselves and we examine the things they do that hurt the most for how it is that we treat ourselves in similar ways. We investigate who we become when we see them as abusers and how we must treat ourselves when we need to stay angry with them; we see how we place upon ourselves the painful identity of being a victim, and we recognize how limiting and unloving that definition is to us!
Through this process of forgiving ourselves for believing the thoughts that have held us captive, imprisoned by our own limiting self-concept, we find an increasing unwillingness to go on treating ourselves this way. We find we are less willing to accept intolerable behavior from anyone, even, and especially from ourselves, because we see what it does to us to do so!
For in this process of growing a deeper understanding of ourselves, we also find ourselves more deeply understanding of the vital, if painful, role that the abuser has played for us. How else would we be able to see our own limiting definition of ourselves except through our encounters with them?! So that even as we remove ourselves from harms way, we simultaneously begin to drop our judgments of them as well. We come to see them too as prisoners, like us, of their own unhappy beliefs.
We see plainly now that they too suffer from painful beliefs about themselves and the world. We bless them, and move on … not necessarily back into a physical connection with them (our vibrational frequencies most likely no longer match anyway, unless they are also initiating a process of inner change), but with a sense of being at peace internally with them.
This is what it is to truly forgive our offenders without blaming the victim.