A young woman about twenty approached me for assistance in repairing her relationship with her father. The relationship went ‘south’ when her father remarried in 2009 and friction developed between the step-mother and the teenager. The father came down firmly on the step-mother’s side and is not in the forgiving mood. This was what I wrote on the subject of forgiveness, an important topic as we move into higher dimensional living:
There are lots of misconceptions about forgiveness and one of the biggest is that it takes two to forgive, one asking and the other giving forgiveness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Forgiveness is a solitary activity taking place within the individual and you need no one else to cooperate. It follows that you can forgive people who have died and also ask their forgiveness and I have done this. I have read extensively on forgiveness but most of all, I have practiced forgiveness for nearly twenty years. I can honestly say there is no one living or dead that I have not forgiven. There are a few who have not forgiven me because that is outside of my control. I am aware of this but it has little impact on me. Yes, I would prefer they forgive me but the important stuff is I have asked for their forgiveness and that request sets me free no matter what choice they make. The other thing I will say is that forgiveness is by degrees and is not a onetime thing. Often, different aspects of a situation are forgiven at different times and I just forgive when the need arises.
I will relate this to your experience. When you were still living at home and your Dad came to pick up your younger sister you could not smile and greet him warmly because you had not forgiven him. That kind of thing is shifted by forgiveness. What is past is forgiven and each present moment stands on its own merits. Can you see how that would impact everything?
The largest impediment to forgiveness is our inner willingness. Are you willing to forgive? Some advise that you begin with smaller issues and work up to the bigger ones but I did it the other way around and that worked fine. So, once again, are you willing to forgive? As you consider this question please understand that your Dad and April do not even have to know about it. You can and should explore forgiveness without involving them. It is between you and your soul, not between you and someone else.
Forgiveness carries great benefits for the forgiver. Basically non-forgiveness is an energy leak and our power drains away like water from a bathtub when the plug is pulled. Forgiveness is the plug. You want to retain your power? All you have to do is forgive. It is that simple. Forgiveness is not weak and the abuses do not carry forward after forgiveness but you are out from under your Dad’s roof and no longer subject to abuse so this is not really an issue.
Asking forgiveness is related. Almost always, when hurts occur they go both ways and this is certainly true of this situation. Again check your willingness. You do not have to agree that you should not have done what you did because sometimes it is well intended or necessary in some way but still it hurt the other and asking to be forgiven is appropriate because hurting another is not what you are about at the soul level. Again, you do not need to have your Dad or April involved. One way is to make a list of the things that have hurt others and then find a safe place by yourself and mentally or verbally ask for their forgiveness for everything on the list. Some burn the paper in this exercise and that is a nice touch.
Are you still afraid of your Dad? If so, this process will greatly lessen that fear. It also begins a healing process that will continue to benefit you for the rest of your life.
There is a lot here and I will answer questions that arise. You are doing amazingly well, Cathy. One more question. Suppose your Dad never did forgive you and you remained estranged for the rest of your life. Check it out. Could you live a full and happy life? What about people whose dad dies? Are they somehow prevented from living full and happy lives?
Forgiveness is a powerful tool for taking back our power. I know because I used it extensively a couple of decades ago and continue to use it whenever the need arises. You can too.
Freedom for humanity…