We live in a fast-paced, rapidly changing world these days. Technology is driving change at a rate that’s staggering to try to comprehend, let alone to keep up with. The ways that we connect, communicate, interact and relate both on a personal level as well as on organizational and even global scales, has altered dramatically in just the past decade! Imagine what will happen as the pace of change continues to accelerate!
It used to be 25 or 30 years ago and beyond, that if you wanted to you could carve out a fairly comfortable, well insulated little space in the world and go through life without being challenged too much at all. You could go to work in a factory or business or take up a trade and believe that you’d have a job for life. You could find a spouse or partner who was similar in terms of background and beliefs, someone who would tacitly agree with you to remain basically the same as a person, denying and repressing his or her feelings and emotions right along with you. You could raise a family with rigid structure and controls to keep the kids from threatening your tightly woven persona. You could go through a career, then retire and die without ever having to really grow and change how you thought and acted. In short, you could adopt a perspective and strategy for making it through life, then hold on tightly to the status quo.
But I assert that’s no longer possible. In the world that exists today I’ll bet you’re challenged frequently with all manner of pressures to step out of and beyond the status quo. Unless you’re practically a hermit, you’re constantly confronted by people with differing opinions who are loud and proud with their beliefs. In your work and career I’d bet that you’re continually being asked to adapt to new technologies, revise the way that you work, even frequently find new jobs or ways to generate income. In your social life, again you’re confronted with new technologies, ways of communicating and interacting that you couldn’t even have imagined 5 years ago! Your spouse or partner likely is very vocal about their needs and desires, and challenges you to continually develop new behaviors and ways of communicating. Your children are driven by media and peer pressure to make demands of you as a parent and do things that were unheard of when you were younger. And there are thousands of additional ways that you’re being challenged day in and day out to shift your ways of being, thinking and doing.
So you may ask, what does all of this have to do with forgiveness? It’s simple, as a human being, forgiveness allows you to lighten your loads internally and externally by letting go of past time thoughts, beliefs and righteous positions. Forgiveness allows you to let go of the grievances large and small that you might otherwise hold onto. These are the daily offenses, injustices and annoyances originating with others that you might collect and build up over time into an overwhelming mass of resentment and anger. By holding on, this repulsive pile will accumulate into an impenetrable barrier between yourself and others, shutting down your ability to connect authentically and practically eliminating the possibility for true love, vulnerability and intimacy.
Forgiveness also allows you to let go of the weight of guilt, shame and regrets about your own decisions and actions. You know, the things that may have seemed right or at least expedient at the time, but somehow turned out to feel wrong, hurtful, foolish or ineffective. The guilt, shame and regret of these indignities when clung to, will also accumulate. They will burden you with an unshakable heaviness of heart, sapping your life energy, obscuring your spark of enthusiasm for new possibilities under a thick blanket of resignation, and fostering a deep sense of being unworthy or undeserving of creating and having what you desire.
In this new world, in order to thrive you need to be unencumbered of old, limiting belief systems, burdens of self-esteem sapping guilt and shame, blames and resentments that would bind you to the festering wounds of the past and righteous anger that would have you automatically react to people and ideas with negative judgments and cynicism. This new world you live in requires you to be grounded in the present while planning and working for a better future. It demands that you be flexible, open to change and new ways of thinking, acting and interacting in all areas of your life. The new world is dynamic, evolving at a breakneck pace and filled with both danger and opportunity. In order to be successful, to make a difference and leave it a better place, you have to be part of supportive communities, find your courage, and take bold actions every day. The present moment awareness, levels of clarity, lightness, focus and power that can come as a result of forgiving and unburdening yourself from the muddled, tangled mass of your past, are all crucial for living a great life in this new world!
Forgiveness is the most quick and sure means to give you the ability to live fully in the present moment, free of the out-dated beliefs, habitual patterns of the past, open to new thoughts, ideas and ways of doing things. Forgiveness helps connect you to a larger sense of purpose, meaning, and creativity; it opens your eyes to previously unimagined possibilities for a bigger, more contributive future and supports you with the self-love and confidence necessary to fulfill that future. Forgiveness allows you to lighten up, be more flexible, responsive and innovative in your thoughts and actions. Forgiveness is the passport to all of this and so much more! So I strongly suggest that you make a commitment to start a regular practice of forgiveness today. I know that through the commitment to forgiveness you can completely alter the course of your life through this rapidly changing, ever-evolving world. Forgiveness can truly give you the golden key to escape a self-sustained prison of the mind and heart and into your freedom and fulfilled future.
What if you recognize that you have forgiveness work that needs to be done, but you’d like some support in doing it? Then I invite you to download a simple forgiveness process and a couple of worksheets that will guide you to first identify where you’re burdened in any way by the past, and then support you to Let Go, Make Peace, Forgive and Set Yourself Free! To access them, simply enter your name and email in the form to the right of this post, and opt in to the “Forgiveness Club” that I’ve created for this community. I promise to be respectful of your personal information, and I will never sell or share it with others. I wouldn’t want to have to be forgiven by you or myself sometime in the future for doing so! Thanks for reading!