People sometimes ask me, “What is the deepest, most important healing that must occur for me to break through my blocks?” For the serious seeker, one of the most powerful places to go in your healing is where you still hold resentment towards those who did you wrong.
I’m not talking about recent events but the most highly-charged incident in your earliest memory about being wronged. This is not a place that most people would deliberately choose to go unless it becomes utterly clear to them that certain patterns that bring unhappiness and that keep unfolding in their lives have something to do with the hurts they still carry from this event.
Whether or not you have come to a point in your life where you’re experiencing this awareness, you can clear a great deal of toxicity that holds you back in different areas of your life by visiting that place where you first encountered being betrayed, unfairly accused, shamed, humiliated, bullied, coerced or deprived.
Life has a way of bringing you circumstances where you have an opportunity to heal those hurts from your past. If you aren’t aware of it as an opportunity, it may seem to you that life keeps punishing you by giving you the same emotional experiences. Just as you come out of one disempowering circumstance, you find yourself in another one, and then another. You may feel frustrated and scream inside your head, “What am I missing? What’s the lesson I’m supposed to learn from all this?”
If you can relate to this, it may be time to work on finally letting go of a your resentment about being wronged. Here are the steps to true forgiveness:
1. Go to the Scene of the Crime.
It may take a fair amount of courage for you to mentally visit the scene that took place early in your life. If you know in your heart that healing is needed from that place, trying to blur the truth is just going to remove power from you. You can only run so far before it catches up with you, and in the course of your running away you may lose even more power by succumbing to numbing-out tactics that end up hurting you even more.
Removing the veil so you can see clearly what needs to be dealt with brings your power back to you. Who is the person or persons whom you perceive to have wronged you? What did they do to you that you feel is wrong? How has what they did costed you? Acknowledge your true feelings and beliefs about your experience with these individuals.
2. Make a Surprising Change.
You started off as a victim and now you will emerge as a hero.
Usually, we choose to remain a victim long after the incident is over – replaying over and over again the story of injustice in our heads, unable to let go of the last traces of our resentment and the unfairness about being a victim. We protest, “But I didn’t do anything wrong to provoke it.” No, you didn’t, but now you have a chance to respond to it in a different way that will heal the whole experience for you. The only healing that needs to happen is in yourself.
If you insist on seeing justice done to those people before you can heal, you may never free yourself from the one thing that causes you to recreate unpleasant situations in your life.
If you’re having half-fantasies at the back of your mind about someone coming into some kind of misfortune because they deserve it, you are building up bitterness inside you. Even as you relish in the glee of imagining someone “getting their due”, sending nasty thoughts about someone leaves a toxic feeling inside you which will make you unhappy in the long run. This tit-for-tat approach traps you in a cycle of unforgiveness – where you are doing the same thing (even if only in your mind) as what you see the other person to have done to you and for which you can’t forgive, and as such at a core level you’re unable to forgive yourself.
3. See Through the Behaviours.
I believe that harsh, exaggerated behaviours come out of fear and inadequacy. Meaning, the person who did you wrong had only acted that way because they felt afraid or inadequate in some way – just as those who act in violence often do so because they have a hatred towards themselves. This step requires you to see through to that person’s fear and inadequacy, and have compassion for where they were at.
At this point, your mind may protest, “So what? I don’t care what she went through, she shouldn’t have treated me that way.”
Chances are that person did not set out to deliberately harm you. Maybe you were her chosen victim, or scapegoat, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t personal. What I mean is that even if you were the person chosen to be on the receiving end of the unfair treatment, there was something bigger that drove her to act out the way she did. De-personalising it this way can help you to gather a sense of compassion that will help you to free yourself eventually.
Where we get stuck is by continually focusing on the unfairness of why we were chosen as the victim of such treatment. I invite you to let go of your investment into this focus. The fact is that you were the chosen victim or scapegoat. Get over it. By taking a step out of it, you can begin to move towards freedom and peace. There’s a gift in it for you; finding that gift is what will set you free, so it is your choice to remain stuck or be freed from it.
4. Do the Unthinkable.
There are some resources that ask, if you could go back in time what you would do to change the events in a particular incident. Usually, they prescribe a way of lashing out at the perpetrator, so that you turn your victimhood into empowerment. For instance, if you passively allowed yourself to be bullied, you are encouraged to imagine getting angry and fighting back. Whilst this can give you an immediate sense of gaining control of the situation and being less victimised, it isn’t true empowerment since you are still responding from a place of false power.
I believe that a higher kind of healing can take place when we transcend our anger and desire for vengeance, and do what is unthinkable to our mind.
Remember I said the person’s actions had got to have come out of fear and inadequacy. That person was not connected to his heart when he did what he did. Fear does that to you. If, in that moment, somehow, love was given to him in a way that he was able to receive the full vibration of it, he would melt back into his heart and the behaviour would stop in that instant. The events in the incident would change and your pain of suffering from the injustice can heal.
So imagine you are back in the scene of the crime. Now instead of seeing yourself as a victim, imagine you are a higher being whose heart is totally awakened. As they start to do what they were going to do, see them melting into their hearts as your light touches them. Perhaps a light touch on someone’s arm, or a few sincere, calm words that speak the truth to the person and open his heart – you see whoever is around you dropping into their heart space, returning to their innocence where they operate from love and radiant joy. In the absence of fear, of their inadequacy, there is no need for them to treat you the way they had; the drive just isn’t there. See all of them becoming higher beings themselves – connected to their hearts, their innocence.
At the end of the day, this is the healing we all need: to return to this awakened heart space and back to our innocence where hatred, jealousy has no place in it. Your compassion, to see through someone’s illusions of fear, inadequacy and hatred, is what heals you ultimately. You heal yourself by freeing them from their roles as abusers and thereby your role as victim. There is no abuser or victim anymore. You are free to be who you truly are with your full powers intact, poised to create another life that truly honours you.