“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Louis B. Smedes
Forgiveness is something we can all practice on a daily basis. Perhaps its that person intentionally cutting ahead of you in the Starbuck’s line, or someone on their cellphone in a movie theater. While some might classify such occurrences in the realm of practicing tolerance, they are also opportunities for what I call “random acts of forgiveness”. It prepares us for when the bigger betrayals come in life that demand strength of character to either say you’re sorry, or that you were wrong, or declare peace and try to move forward from there.
Sometimes such events can be somewhat lop-sided. One side may want to hold onto their anger for years—plotting revenge and perhaps even ways to destroy the other party. A scenario such as this usually has karmic undertones, and is really a joint agreement by both parties coming into this life to help each other learn to forgive and let go. But what if you’re willing to forgive and move on, but they’re not?
I’ve experienced one of those scenarios. The kind that costs you time, frustration, and a lot of money as you deal with their need to win knowing quite clearly that no one ever comes out a clear winner in such cases. What if forgiveness is just not enough?
In my case, I was given extra insight through a dream. In the dream I saw myself in a restaurant approaching a table where the other party was eating dinner with two strangers dressed in dark suits (probably lawyers). We were both surprised to see each other, and there was no animosity. I sat down and listened to her tell me about what she had accomplished in this lifetime so far and what she was still working on. We seemed to be just two friendly souls comparing progress notes. At one point, she sadly told me, “But my father still asks me: Are you pretty enough? Have you made enough money? Are you keeping your figure?” In her eyes, nothing she had accomplished meant anything because she still could not gain her father’s sought after approval.
I felt a flooding of compassion and love for her. She was clearly hurting and dealing with soul issues of self-worth. I felt her pain and it was deep. I reached out my arms to her in the dream, embraced her, and said “I am so sorry”. My sorrow came from the deep realization that our altercation was just another parental-like dismissal for her, cementing her lack of self-worth. I suddenly had complete understanding of the situation and the parts we had both played. There is so much going on behind the scenes on so many different levels, and my higher guidance was showing me the true core issue. My dismissive actions had added to her feelings of worthlessness. I was sorry for my part and with it I experienced a deep release as I also forgave myself. I knew we had completed our work together and I was at peace.
Dr. Kathy Forti is a clinical psychologist, inventor, and author of the new book, Fractals of God. amazon.com/author/kathyforti