“As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.” — Isabelle Holland

Forgiveness is one of those heavily charged words. Somebody done you wrong, hurt you bad, and your mind just can’t move past it. “I feel so betrayed/disappointed/let down!” You feel perfectly justified in tarring everything with that particular brush, even if it makes you feel terrible.

For some people, of course, this is a tried and true strategy for controlling others. The classic “guilt trip.” “It’s ok. You two go along and have fun. I’ll just sit here in a hot apartment with nothing to do.”

The Bible creates a template early in Genesis when the All-Powerful One punks the hapless Adam and Eve with the old “forbidden fruit” scam. “Original Sin” anyone?

Guilt sticks our attention in the past. So does blame. Two sides of the same coin. The imagined advantage that comes from dominating others through guilt comes at a heavy cost. Both parties are stuck trying to resolve a moment that no longer exists. It takes a lotta RAM to run that program. And it has serious karmic repercussions. Put that energy out there and somebody has to clean up the mess.

Y0u don’t encounter Spirit in the past. Only in the Eternal Now. And you only get there when you relate to another with your whole being. Not stuck in an old story. You have to make space in your consciousness for that.

I find it helpful to look at forgiveness from an energy psychology perspective. Old energies are held in place in our minds by our thoughts. Forgiveness releases those energies that no longer serve you.

For instance, say my old girlfriend falls in love with my best friend…twenty years ago. And I’m still stuck in it. I haven’t been able to have a relationship since then. Maybe the non-coherent energy that encysts this event doesn’t serve me anymore. Maybe it’s sticking me in an undesirable pattern of behavior. Perhaps it’s time to release those energies.

Forgiveness is just a thought away. It doesn’t mean I have to LIKE what happened. Or condone really bad behavior. I just prefer to not continue to PUNISH MYSELF for something that doesn’t exist anymore. I’m doing it for ME, not the person who hurt me.

How do I do this? For really serious matters I use a variation of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique, or “tapping”). This is an incredibly effective form of energy psychology that I use in my practice. More on that some other time. A simpler handling is to just bring the events to mind while in a state of energetic coherence. You can’t feel the non-coherent energies while in a coherent state. This interrupts the stuck patterns and gives you the option to choose a different outcome. One that serves you better.

If a fox has been breaking into my henhouse and eating my chickens, I can blame the fox for this dastardly deed. But that’s not really helpful. Foxes do that sorta thing. It’s my job to protect my chickens and I can’t blame a fox for doing foxy things. That just generates agita in me. Who needs that?

So I forgive the fox. And build a safer henhouse.

A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain.   Samuel Johnson