Home Mental Health & Well-Being Practising Forgiveness Can Transform Challenging Emotions and Facilitate Personal Evolution

Practising Forgiveness Can Transform Challenging Emotions and Facilitate Personal Evolution

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As a therapist and in my personal life, practising forgiveness has proven to be the most effective choice when faced with challenging emotions, situations, and life events that too often provoke unpleasant feelings and behaviours. Forgiveness offers a calm mind, neutralising the negativity that would otherwise be generated by emotional reactivity or judgmental, critical thoughts. Adversity is an opportunity to correct unlearned lessons. Forgiveness neutralises or dissolves the lesson at hand. The present moment is usually an unlearned lesson that has returned to be corrected. Awareness in the present facilitates correction and, thus, advancement in our evolution.

“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare said. Correction is not obtained by defensively reacting or excusing it because of our “benevolence”. It is found by asking our higher power for assistance in regulating our emotions and, therefore, returning to the loving presence we all have. By staying in the present moment, we can prevent our brains from associating the situation with an earlier memory and thus stop the opportunity from being hijacked by an automatic and negative reaction. Additionally, this ensures that our brains do not project us into a non-existent future, which they often predict.

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present,” Lao Tzu said. Defence mechanisms serve to resist these learning opportunities. Freud explained that when we resist ‘what is,’ our resulting negative thoughts and judgements are projected outwards as we attempt to rid ourselves of them. This “psychological projection” serves to defend against pausing to inquire what purpose the experience serves. Instead of rejecting it, and therefore projecting it onto others (attacking them with this negativity), we could use it to master our emotions, climb the evolutionary ladder, and gain peace of mind by forgiving it.

If we allow a situation to control or hijack us, the lesson will return in a boomerang fashion until we learn how to stay in our right mind by practicing forgiveness. What goes around, comes around. Most quantum mechanics scientists believe we are one mind. Dr Erwin Schrödinger, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, states, “The total number of minds in the universe is one. In fact, consciousness is a singularity phasing within all beings.” When we attack another, we attack ourselves. Einstein believed we were all connected in what he called the “unified field”. This is not so far-fetched if we recognise that the discoveries of these scientists and their colleagues have given us cell phones, medical imaging, laser technology, and so on.

Think of the mind as the master controller of our brains and, thus, our emotions and bodies. However, on this plane of existence, we live in duality – light/dark, positive/negative, yin/yang, etc. Instead of having “one mind” on this plane of duality, our mind is split into what is called a “right mind” and an “ego mind”. Our right mind represents our spirit – the source of our being, the essence of love. It is free of negative emotions and brings peace of mind. ‘The better angels of our nature,’ according to Abraham Lincoln.

The other half of our split mind is called the ego mind. It is filled with defences and the unconscious guilt that naturally occurs when we act out these defences by attacking others through our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. When projecting these judgment-filled thoughts, we fail to recognise that what we do to another, is done to us. We are all from the same source. Denial of ‘what is,’ rather than acceptance, causes emotional reactions to the unpleasant events in our lives. We not only lose our peace of mind but also accrue negative consequences by giving control to our ego mind.

Instead, pause and breathe.

  • Take responsibility and notice how you feel about the situation.
  • Ask Spirit (your source) for assistance in forgiving your thoughts and emotions.
  • This is how to leave the hate-filled ego mind and not fall down the rabbit hole.
  • Enjoy returning to your right mind, the place of peace and calm.”

Embracing forgiveness is not merely a tool for emotional healing; it is a profound journey towards self-awareness and spiritual growth. By acknowledging and releasing the burdens of the past and fears of the future, we open ourselves to a life of balance, peace, and deeper understanding.

As we practise forgiveness, we not only transform our own lives but also contribute to a more compassionate and connected world. Remember, in the art of forgiveness, we find the key to our true power and the pathway to our inner peace.

Tarra Judson Stariell is the author of “Flashpoints of Awareness, Lessons Learned from a Life“.

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