December 15, 2019
The 7 Pillars of Forgiveness & The Art of Forgiveness
The WISDOM podcast | Season 1 Episode 12
with Dorothy Ratusny
Podcast Intro: 0-2:09 | How Forgiveness is Possible: 2:13 | Two Questions to Contemplate: 4:26 | The First Sacred Step to Forgiving: 5:49 | How you Know Forgiveness Has Been Completed: 11:06 | How to Use A Mantra to Be Free from the Past 13:32 | Why We Need to Forgive: 14:12 | The First Pillar: Let Go of Your Expectations Of What Others "Should be": 15:52 | The Second Pillar: Practice Compassion: 18:36 | The Third Pillar: Uphold Loving Kindness: 21:01 | The Fourth Pillar: Be Responsible for Your Happiness: 22:15 | The Fifth Pillar of Forgiveness: Practice Holding Gratitude: 24:19 | The Sixth Pillar of Forgiveness: Remind Yourself of What Is True: 26:53 | The Seventh Pillar of Forgiveness: Speak Your Truth: 29:20 | One of the Most Helpful Life Rules for Forgiveness 32:11 | The Episode 'Afterward': 33:10 | Your Free Downloadable Offering for This Episode: 38:51 | Podcast Outro: 40:32
Forgiveness is possible as you love yourself and others, unconditionally. When you choose to forgive another or yourself, it is because you wish to let go of suffering; to free yourself to live in the present; and to dream of the future because you have completed the work of 'for' 'giving', for releasing your attachment to the past. The past was never in your control. If you are forgiving another, it is so that you can have a relationship with them in the present if you so choose. In this episode, we discuss what it means to forgive; how you know that you have forgiven completely; and how you can do this so that you are no longer carrying the weight of the past with you.
TRUTH SERUM: A new way of thinking about forgiveness that transcends all world religions and is the most direct path to inner peace: Forgiveness comes from Love. To forgive, first decide to accept; to make peace with whatever has happened by acknowledging that the past is unchangeable. Then you can begin to hold compassion and love towards the person (and yourself) in the present. Your love directed towards another or unto yourself is the most powerful tool for forgiveness.
A-HA MOMENTS: Forgiveness is: (Hint: break it into two words) 'for' 'giving' yourself the freedom to let go of the past and whatever has happened including what you or others have done that is not a true portrayal of who you are. Forgiveness is 'for' 'giving' acceptance to what has already happened; and what you have no power to change, only the power to live from the present moment.
PRACTICAL WISDOM: You will know when forgiveness has been completed because you will be able to think about the other person, yourself, or the situation and no longer feel the hurt, anger, (or self-loathing) that was once present. You will instead feel an ease and lightness in your heart centre, and you will be able to identify the feeling of unconditional love and acceptance that comes about from making peace with what 'is'. "It is your actions and mindset of the present, that allow you to make peace with your past."
What do you need to forgive? (What actions, words, or thoughts?)
Who do you need to forgive? (Including yourself.)
If you want to forgive, its likely because you want to free yourself from a situation in which you are harboring feelings of hurt, anger, or another form of suffering. Forgiveness is (Hint: break it into two words) 'for' 'giving' yourself the freedom to let go of the past and whatever has happened including what you or others have done that is not a true portrayal of who you are. Forgiveness is 'for' 'giving' acceptance to what has already happened; and what you have no power to change, only the power to live from the present moment. Are you ready to experience the release of your hurt and suffering? Have you been telling yourself that you have forgiven another (or yourself) because you very much want to, but in thinking about past situations, do you still feel all of these same hurts, sadness, or anger. Do you know that you can forgive completely?
So let's begin with a new way of thinking about forgiveness that transcends all world religions and is the most direct path to inner peace.
Forgiveness Comes From Love
"Love for another, or yourself needs to come first; in place of what hurt, anger, blame, and suffering you have been holding onto. When you choose to forgive, it requires your willingness to make peace with what has happened. If you hold onto hurts and situations in which you have been wronged, it will seem impossible to forgive a person or their actions, or both. To forgive, first decide to accept; to make peace with whatever has happened by acknowledging that the past is unchangeable. Then you can begin to hold compassion and love towards the person (and yourself) in the present. Your love directed towards another or unto yourself is the most powerful tool for forgiveness." -Dorothy Ratusny
Forgiveness is 'giving up' the suffering that exists when you hold onto past situations and experiences and whatever is not in the present moment. Choose forgiveness above anything else. Let your desire for feeling peace, and for accepting what already is, be what gives you objective and the ability to be 'here and now'; your life is no longer lived in the re-experiencing of past hurts and wounds.
Forgiveness allows for the release of what causes you to suffer. This includes any of the self-inflicted hurt that you have been carrying, because of your decision (whether consciously or unconsciously) to continue re-living the unpleasant thoughts and feelings of that situation as you maintain blame directed towards another (or yourself). It is unlikely that the other person is even aware of the extent of damage or hurt that they have caused. It is not up to another person to make you feel better.
Even with an heartfelt apology, you can still harbour negativity and hurt feelings. So it becomes a decision; your decision to release the past through acceptance and the willingness to live life in the present and to do what is going to be most helpful for you to feel happiness and whole. Consider if you have been unable to forgive what has happened; such as a car accident, or an injury or illness, and you continue to point blame or fault for the situation. This will inhibit your ability to physically, emotionally, and mentally heal; to recover fully; and to feel at peace. Remember that your power lies in your ability to live of the present moment; to act and react based on your present moment experiences including what you will remind yourself of that is not within your control, nor ability to change.
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"It is your actions and mindset of the present, that allow you to make peace with your past."
- Dorothy Ratusny
Forgiveness may take months, or even years to complete; based on the depth of your hurt and how long you have carried this suffering, giving it your (unwanted) attention and energy. Think of it as similar to layers that you shed, each layer is what you have constructed to armor you; to protect you from feeling hurt or angry even though these layers have not been needed. Instead, you have simply needed to refrain from holding onto and reliving what is past.
You will know when forgiveness has been completed because you will be able to think about the other person, yourself, or the situation and no longer feel the hurt, anger, (or self-loathing) that was once present. You will instead feel an ease and lightness in your heart center, and you will be able to identify the feeling of unconditional love and acceptance that comes about from making peace with what 'is'.
Complete forgiveness is.... the release of your suffering and blame, in place of holding peace; and for 'for' 'giving' thanks for your ability to do so.
Check out this video on Complete Forgiveness:
Here's why you need to forgive:
When you feel consumed by hurt, sadness, anger, or any other difficult emotion whenever you think about a situation, an exchange of words, the absence (or presence) of an action, or any other condition that did not meet your expectations, you suffer. Each time you think about the situation or the other person, you relive the same feelings - usually as intense as they were originally. Your belief that you have been wronged and that you are justified for feeling the way you do keeps you in a cycle of suffering.
You choose forgiveness because you no longer wish to relieve the past. You recognize that it is far better for you to feel at peace with a situation, yourself, or another, rather than continue to harbour damaging and unresolved feelings, because these feelings left unhealed continue to cause discomfort.
The 7 Pillars of Forgiveness describe the steps that lead you from what you feel now, into peace, acceptance and a new reality of truth that is comforting. Each pillar is also a best practice that makes it easier for you to walk through life without forming hurts and for holding grudges.
One of the most helpful 'life rules' that you could ever live by is to accept others as they are; and without needing them to uphold your standards. You may be attentive, and to assess what you observe in others, and yet it is helpful to do so without criticism or judgment. You can always offer your help and guidance to another in a desire to help them improve their situation, together with healthy boundaries that reflect your understanding that it is always up to another how they will choose to be. This is one of the most effective life practices for having healthy, loving relationships.
'Forgiveness is always needed whenever you are not willing to let go of hurt; and when you have made another responsible for how you feel.'
- dorothy ratusny
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Whenever you observe others with kindness and curiosity, you learn more about who they are. This is an effective life practice that allows us to be observers and to learn rather than critique and judge others based on their differences.
Continue to remind yourself of what you are being shown and what you are learning through your desire for forgiveness and for alleviating suffering. If you can look at what "has happened to you" as an opportunity for learning something new about yourself and another, you are more likely to find relief in trusting the wisdom of life to reveal precisely what you need to understand and know in order to further your personal growth.
Much of the inner work of forgiveness is inspired by a deeper (and instinctual desire) that we all have for feeling inner peace, for improving connection and closeness in our relationships, for no longer relying on others for feeling happy and having self-worth, and for ultimately becoming more. This is also known as individuation; the ability to be independent in relying on and providing for your needs, and to feel integral happiness and love for your self.
"To forgive allows you to heal yourself of the past; to let go of whatever hurt, anger, and sadness you may have been holding onto, that has been causing you to suffer." - Dorothy Ratusny
Most of all forgiveness allows you to experience the process of deliberate co-creation. When you seek out healing from a past situation with forgiveness, you are allowing the natural rhythm of life and the need for maintaining presence in this moment. When you allow for what 'is' in the present moment, you can experience others and yourself as you are, rather than continuing to relive situations of the past. This allows you to make decisions based on what is important now; and for what you are in full control of. When you judge others or yourself based on a situation of the past, you are not truly in control of 'now'. Let go of the impulse to judge based on a situation or a time of the past, in which you have no control, and which is not an accurate portrayal of who the person (or your self) is in that moment. Remind yourself of the need to live of the present moment; to view and make decisions based on what is important now. This will also help you to release grudges or hurts; to accept what you have no control over and cannot change. I believe this is a forward thinking concept which changes the way in which we think about our experiences and one that I hope you will find of much help.
Here is where mindfulness and conscious awareness become your helpful allies. When you allow yourself to exist in the present moment; as you witness situations, others, and yourself without needing to place any labels or judgment on what you experience, you are more easily able to approach all situations in life from a neutral position. When you hold grudges, resentment, and hurt, you are holding others responsible and as the cause for how you feel.
I hope that this episode offers much practical and spiritual wisdom for living the 7 pillars, for practicing complete forgiveness so that you may feel at peace in your life. Please remember that forgiveness of many past hurts, and trauma occurs in stages, and as you seek to release in acceptance of all of what is in the past. I wanted to share a few resources for you as each offers further wisdom that may resonate differently with you; and to open you further for allowing complete forgiveness into your heart. And remember, forgiveness if 'for' 'giving' to yourself; for releasing your suffering first and foremost.
How To Curate Innate Happiness
Forgiveness... Begins with Your Heart Wide Open
The Power of Forgiveness
To Work with Me: dorothyratusny.com
Sharing the wisdom and beauty of divine love with you...
Podcast Theme Music: 'Aura' from the Album, Illuvia by Eternell www.eternell.net/album/illuvia
Accompanying Music: Eternell, 'Home' from the Album - "Self"
A generous 'thank you' to Audio Engineer, Pavel Kirpikau for your incredible help!