“The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to healing of the world.” – Marianne Williamson
There is always going to be a desire to create an ideal world where everyone will be happy and free from suffering. What I personally have noticed is we have this habitual tendency to look around us and find out what’s wrong with the world and then try to “fix” it.
There is always going to be horrible things happening around us, but to transform this world we live in – we have to start with us. We can only be the change we seek in the world if we start with our individual healing
When we heal (not mend), a part in ourselves, we heal the world. In order to heal however, we must utilize the power of forgiveness.
If I’m going to be open with all of you (and this may come as a shock to some), there are nights where I break down and feel how much I had been hurting myself with my persistent negative view of my world. On the outside, I carry this level of “everything’s going fine” vibe but really, internally – I’m broken.
I believed I wasn’t good enough for the world – to have and enjoy the life that I wanted, that I wasn’t enough to meet my respective partner, or that I would never reach the ability to fulfill my potential.
In observing those around me – I learned to feel guilty for all the good as well as the bad that occurred in my life. I also learned to blame others when appropriate and that life is just as well as struggle for everyone.
It took years, but I realized and felt what I had been doing to myself and how damaging this was – physically, mentally, and spiritually. With this realization, I would burst into tears and then, naturally, as I explored how to heal, initiated a process of forgiveness.
I would hold onto myself for hours on the edge of the bed, curled up in a ball, and I recall all the times I had unintendedly hurt myself by thinking and believing the negative thoughts about myself… but then I forgave myself.
I forgave myself for each item as it came to mind. I began to write and dance until there was nothing left inside me and all my sorrows and woes had been bled out. I wholly and completely released myself for the guilt and pain that I created in my life.
I had also recognized that no one in my life had hurt me except me. I decided to take responsibility for my feelings and my life and put an end to my suffering.
Other people can and could hurt me if I allowed them to – if I believed their words and actions were reflections of who I am, rather than a reflection of how they feel about themselves. I essentially became aware of this cycle of pain and forgave and released myself from those old, negative behavior patterns. Consequently, I also forgave all the people who I had felt hurt me.
Much of the pain we experience in our everyday life is self-created through our thoughts and beliefs about our circumstances. We then project this suffering into the world as external experiences which we often try to “fix” by making changes or building walls in our external affairs.
When we accept the responsibility for our experiences and feelings, we learn that we have more control over our lives than we thought. We may not be able to control what’s happening in the world around us, but we can choose how we interpret and interact with it. Cleaning up our thoughts and forgiving ourselves is a great way to start.
While forgiving others on its own won’t end global suffering or create world peace, creating peace within will better enable us to find and enact solutions to the larger problems we all face. In healing myself, it will create a ripple effect across the universe which will allow me to help others heal.