Men are disturbed not by things that happen but their opinions of the things that happen – Epictetus (55-135)
TRAP OF THE MIND
Do the archives of your mind bulge with corrupted files that play ‘not fair’ life events? No one is unscathed from these replays called memories. Unresolved injustices wreak havoc in your brain body long after the offense. The chatter is unstoppable.” How could they… I should have known… If only… Yes but…Why?… It’s not fair… You stop me… It’s always this way… You should…” Whether you blame it on yourself, others, nature or God. It’s the ultimate brain trap.
It appears past offenders sit in the jury box deciding your fate and you believe you have no choice; imprisoned by your own perception and interpretation. What the brain and mind can conceive it begins to believe. You absorb the energy and internally incubate the offender’s anger, hurt, resentment and powerlessness. Pain and blame binds you to the offense and keeps it alive inside, affecting everything you think, feel, do and have.
These mind sets are formed by information sent to the brain, coded by the five senses and are seldom reassessed for the truth. Research tells us that with each time you recall a memory it is never exactly the same. Emotions elicited by memories are buried alive in the body and can become more exaggerated with each recall.
Resentment is the poison you take yourself, hoping the other person will die.” – Carl Thoreson; Stanford University, Forgiveness Research
Making them pay is a veneer of safety and power. To be free is to let go, stop resisting what is. Forgiveness as you have known it is an impossible double bind. To be free and have peace you must forgive; to forgive means you give up your perceived power and can be hurt again. Not forgiving means they own a piece of you. Even if you never face the offender again, they wield the power to intrude in your thoughts, feelings and choices. They now perpetrate the offense over and over in your mind. If you are not freed from the offense, you are destroyed by it.
The question is not do they deserve forgiveness but do you deserve to be freed from the offense. You are the author of your life condition. You decide, “trapped” or “freed”.
“The subconscious mind accepts and acts on the thoughts carrying the highest degree of emotional charge.” The Power mind System ; Michael Monroe Kieffer M.S.
Forgiveness may not be what you think it is…. Check out the Truth, it can set you free.
- Forgiveness is not amnesia. The brain never forgets. The offense remains a part of your past forever, either conscious or unconscious. The past mistakes and pain are our greatest teacher, you learn what does not work.
- Forgiveness is not a one-time decision but a process of letting go. Each truth you glean, sets the memory more free. When you get the last truth, your unconscious mind will not replay the unsolicited mental tapes without your permission. Each lesson redeems the past.
- Forgiveness is not pardoning, condoning, or letting the offender off the hook as if to say the offense is “OK”. This would trample your beliefs and values. To forgive does not require you to compromise your beliefs.
- Forgiveness does not require the offender to change, apologize, agree with you, or pay for the offense. They may never choose to change. They may even get worse. You change you inside, that is your power.
- Forgiveness does not mean you have to wait to understand the motivation and intention of the offender. They may never understand their own destructive choices.
- Forgiveness does not mean you have no protection and have to be a victim to further abuse. You exercise your power to walk away. You can say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ truthfully to set protective limits.
- Forgiveness does not mean you have to give up your negative emotions. Anger, fear and hurt are alert and protect you. Each carries a message, “Someone trampled your life.” Emotions warn you to make a different choice. Say ‘yes’ peace and safe and ‘no’ to fear and harm.
- Forgiveness does not mean you have to give up your good memories of the offender. It means the hurtful memories have less power.
- Forgiveness is not reconciliation. You can now set the boundaries. They have to earn your trust over time, or not. You get to choose.
- Forgiveness is not about whether they deserve to be forgiven, but that you deserve to be someone who forgives. It lets you off the hook.
- Forgiveness is not time bound or dependent on the offender being present or ever seeing them again.
- Forgiveness is not “out of sight, out of mind”, avoidance, repression or denial. It is choosing to see the truth, be real, trust yourself, and learn from your mistakes and pain.
- Forgiveness is not the easy way out. It takes more courage to let go than to hold on.
- Forgiveness is not regaining trust in the offender. It is about trusting yourself to listen to your truth.
- Forgiveness is not manipulating or controlling the offender, or allowing the offender to control you. It is making a choice to be responsible for your life.
Whatever goes on inside shows up on the outside. – Earl Nightingale
Trapped or free? You get to choose.