The Core Issue: Forgiveness Comes Through Grace

Did you ever want to forgive someone,
but the feeling just wasn't there?
What is required to feel forgiveness?
Why is it so often a challenge to forgive?
This article is an exploration of the root of forgiveness
with flower essences.

forgive

  1. to grant pardon for an offense
  2. to cease to feel resentment against

As long as we hold onto resentment, anger, or any unresolved feelings, we are engaged in an energetic link to the persons or situations that caused them. Forgiveness is what releases us from their tenacious hold.

Forgiveness is vital to living in the freedom of the present moment. As long as our consciousness is engaged with unresolved feelings, we expend a lot of energy on issues of the past. Each unresolved feeling is like a little child, tugging at our consciousness, demanding our attention. Many of us become expert at ignoring these tugs; we learn to live with a lot of inner noise in the background of our consciousness. Forgiveness frees us from these unruly ties.

Forgiveness is also the acceptance of ourselves, exactly the way we are, which is one of the most important aspects for living a life of contentment. As long as we judge ourselves or things we have done as unforgivable, we are locked into an uncompromising relationship with ourselves. Since others are mirrors of our own selves, when we cannot forgive others, there are probably things for which we cannot forgive ourselves. This unending circle holds us in a downward spiral from which we need to free ourselves by forgiving ourselves and/or others.

Once we are aware that forgiving is necessary, it might be easy to decide to forgive ourselves or someone else, but in reality we cannot always feel forgiveness on cue. Just saying, "I forgive myself," doesn't make the feeling real. Forgiveness is not something we do; it happens through grace.

We are not, however, powerless in our quest for forgiveness. We can play an active role in attracting the grace of forgiveness. With our personal will we can find the desire to forgive and fan the flames of this desire. It's as simple as deciding to forgive and then accepting ourselves, exactly as we are, until we really feel it.

Meanwhile, we have to face, and accept, the feelings that have kept us from feeling forgiveness:

"But he really hurt me!" "It was so atrocious what he did!" "She really got away with that. She needs to be punished!"

Once we accept that the other person has a Higher Power that will deal with his or her karma for the situation, we are free to forgive.

What we can do with our personal will is take the steps that will prepare us to receive the grace of forgiveness. With careful contemplation and three simple steps, we can open a way to experience forgiveness.

Step One: Find the Desire to Forgive

Preparing to forgive, either ourselves or another person, begins with finding a desire to forgive. Once we have the desire to forgive, even if we don't presently feel forgiveness, we have created the foundation for ultimate success.

Check inside to see if you have the desire to let go of the energetic tie that holds you to the person or situation. Is there something you gain by holding onto the feelings you have? Are you hiding behind the feelings that come up? If these feelings were freed, what would your life be like?

If there is a person with whom you have difficulty forgiving, ask yourself in what way might you lack forgiveness for your own self. It might be something unrelated to that person. Are there things you have said or done for which you cannot forgive yourself?

The Emotional Awareness Formula is the essence of choice for helping us recognize what it is that we feel about the situation or person.

A big stumbling block to finding the desire to forgive is often that we cannot accept the feelings we have. Once we recognize what we are feeling, the Embracing Humanness Formula can help us accept that we are human and have human feelings and "failings".

Sara had been abused by a man in her childhood, which was the root of a very deep wound. As she healed from this experience, she knew intellectually that she would have to forgive this man, yet she was far from actually feeling anything resembling forgiveness. She made an important spiritual commitment: she prayed that she would some day be able to forgive this man, no matter how long it took. She completely accepted her feelings of resentment and distrust of her aggressor, even as she made the spiritual commitment to someday forgive him.

This apparent inner conflict is an essential one with which to come to terms. It might be the most important aspect of fully experiencing forgiveness. We must accept our feelings, exactly as they are, even as we want to change them. The Embracing Humanness Formula can be a key to resolving this inner conflict as it helps us to accept our feelings, exactly as they are, separate from what our mind thinks about them. The result is self-acceptance, which is an important requirement on the road to forgiveness.

Photo of Inmortal

If we identify with the negativity of a situation or person, we are not able to see that forgiveness begins with ourselves. Once we have compassion for ourselves, the desire for forgiveness arises within. Inmortal flower essence helps us in this way by transmuting feelings of self-hatred or self-negation into heartfelt self-appreciation. This is the essence to use when we need to see our innate beauty and goodness.

Another important flower essence that can help us is Scorpion Weed. The complexity of issues with which this essence works is truly impressive. Situations that have resulted in the belief that our past actions are unforgivable are harmonized with this essence. For those who fear making mistakes or repeating mistakes of the past, or that their errors are irrevocable, Scorpion Weed can bring an important release.

Once we can recognize and accept what we are feeling, we can find the desire to forgive. Even if we don't feel forgiveness yet, we have taken the important first step towards feeling it, and we are ready for the second step.

Step Two: Release Old Perceptions

The second step consists of clearing and releasing any old perceptions that keep unresolved hurts alive or unfinished business that keeps you locked into old emotional hurts and wounds.

Photo of Senita

Senita is the "emotional iodine" that takes the sting out of old hurts and helps us see that the perception we have of past events may be keeping us locked into old emotional wounds. It fosters the faith to let go of old perspectives that keep us locked into unsettled emotions.

If it is our mother whom we need to forgive, Milky Nipple Cactus is often the key. This essence helps us when we have a tendency to want to avoid the whole issue. Milky Nipple Cactus can purge emotions that have been withheld from expression, freeing us from their tenacious hold.

If we have a need to forgive our father, or father-figure, Saguaro Cactus is the essence to use. It is also a great support for issues about forgiving God, our Creator, or any authority figures.

Photo of Wild Buckwheat

We have many requests for flower essences to help folks forgive their ex-partners. Wild Buckwheat can help us if we have difficulty seeing a higher aspect of a former partner or if we feel that the differences between us are too great to ever forgive. This essence helps us find an unconditional acceptance of the differences between us and often brings resolution and the sense of completion and release.

Mesquite flower essence can help us reconnect with the basic thread of life that connects us to another.

One client of mine was a guest in a friend's home. Another guest attempted to rape her in the middle of the night. After a year had past, the host prevailed upon my client to forgive the man. My client didn't really want to face him. She just wanted to forget the whole situation. The host insisted that her forgiveness was necessary for the man to move on with his life. He wanted to apologize to her and ask for her forgiveness. She went to meet the man because she was pressured into it but was convinced that she wouldn't be able to ever forgive him.

However, when she saw the man's heartfelt remorse, forgiveness automatically welled up in her. The situation of the attempted rape was no longer important in the face of the man's suffering for having caused it. Compassion arose within her by seeing this man's remorse. Mesquite flower essence helps us to reconnect with the compassion that connects us all as human beings. We sometimes need to have this interconnectedness rekindled for the grace of forgiveness to be felt.

It is possible to position ourselves to forgive anything. We just need to be open to the possibility that we can forgive, even if we don't feel it at the present time.

All issues about forgiveness as they relate to telling the truth is the area of support offered by Syrian Rue flower essence. Self-forgiveness for having told lies, forgiving others for lying, for betrayal, and the forgiveness required for rebuilding trust are fostered by this essence.

Photo of Thistle

Thistle helps us in a very important way with the process of forgiveness. As we take the journey of healing and forgiving, we might experience a dilemma about boundaries. Once we have experienced a situation that results in resentment for another, we lose trust in our aggressor and usually in God, or our Higher Power. Often it can be an unconscious conclusion we come to: that the world is not a safe place and that people and/or our Higher Power cannot be trusted. We create a naturally defensive attitude, not unlike the needle-like and pain-producing spines of the Thistle plant, to keep us safe from future wounds.

Thistle helps us to make a shift away from the defenses we have put up because of treatment we had in the past. Instead of armoring ourselves against other people, this essence helps us to find ways to interact with them in an appropriate way."

The Alchemy of the Desert - Second Edition, page 297

We do not have to trust someone in order to forgive him or her. This is vital to know in our healing process. Often the very experience that has broken our trust has the potential to teach us something important about relationships and our expectations. We can forgive and still keep others at an appropriate distance. Forgiveness doesn't mean that we ignore commonsense and let others walk all over us. We can forgive and have good boundaries. Thistle is excellent for helping us have good boundaries while not overdoing them.

If you forgive someone, it doesn't condone inappropriate behavior. Some of us may feel that if we forgive someone who harmed us or interacted with us in a dysfunctional or abusive way that we are approving the abuse. Not so. Forgiveness is what can free us from the bond of victimhood to dysfunctional or abusive behavior and strengthen us to more easily recognize and name it in the future. Forgiveness is facilitated when we find something good in an incident, not necessarily the incident itself, but any insights or changes of awareness that it brought to us. When we recognize these things, we are freed from bondage to the situation and we attract the grace of forgiveness.

It is important to restore trust in our Higher Power. Every experience in life is perfect for us in some way. There is always the potential of benefit in every situation, a growth of awareness. We may not see it for years, but if we look carefully, we might discern something that strengthened or awakened us. The process of healing broken trust with our Creator is that which helps us restore optimism and hope to our lives. This is another aspect of Thistle's healing grace.

For many of us, a deep feeling of being unsafe has resulted from situations or people that we need to forgive. Pink Pond Lily flower essence helps us know that there is only safety and security at the core of our being, which frees us to forgive others and ourselves.

Step Three: Ask & Detach

The last step is to ask for the grace of forgiveness, then let go so it can find you. It might take a short time or a long time, but it will come. Locate within yourself the willingness to allow the Universe to bring forgiveness at its own good time. Can you let go of any desire to have it happen according to your own timetable? If we are attached to our own timing, we have not let go sufficiently.

Photo of Sacred Datura

Sacred Datura is the essence of choice for letting go. It can reveal to us an inner patience and faith as we anticipate the arrival of forgiveness. This essence can help us fully release any attachment we have to completing the process of forgiveness, while it shows us a well of faith that exists within us.

Forgiveness is an important spiritual state of being. When we consciously work towards attaining it, we free ourselves tremendously.

Selecting the Most Appropriate Flower Essences

Not every flower essence mentioned above will be appropriate for every person's specific needs. Different people have different issues around forgiveness. The process itself of exploring and contemplating your relationship to forgiveness is important. It is the foundation for successfully selecting the most beneficial flower essences. Usually, careful self-examination can clearly show you which of the above flower essences are most appropriate for the root of your forgiveness issues.

Though you can use more than one flower essence together, you probably will not need to use all of the ones mentioned here. After contemplating your relationship to this issue, select the flower essences that apply for you, or use an intuitive method to select among them. (For more information on how to do this, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.) A general guideline is to use four drops at a time, four times a day, in water. However, it is fine to follow your intuition and use them as often as you like. Most people find that they tend to use them more often in the beginning and less often towards the end of the cycle. Unless otherwise indicated, a cycle is usually two to four weeks. [more]

For information on how to clearly evaluate the effects of the essences you have used, see The Art & Technique of Using Flower Essences.

Welcome, Guest!
Recommended Flower Essences
Emotional Awareness Formula
This essence provides the important support of recognizing what we are feeling, separate from what we think about those feelings.
Embracing Humanness Formula
This formula can help us discover self-acceptance for where we are in relation to where we want to be in the journey of forgiveness. It supports us in accepting everything human about ourselves: our feelings, our desires, and our instincts. When we find acceptance in ourselves, we will find it in others as well and see them through the eyes of compassion.
Inmortal
When we identify with the negativity of a situation we are not able to see that forgiveness begins within ourselves. Once we have compassion for ourselves, the desire for forgiveness arises within.
Senita Cactus
The "emotional iodine" that takes the sting out of old hurts and helps us see that the perception we have of past events may be keeping us locked into old emotional wounds.
Milky Nipple Cactus
When we need to forgive our mother, this is the essence that helps prepare us. The essence can be a powerful support when are avoiding the issue.
Saguaro Cactus
If we have a need to forgive our father, this is the essence to use. It is also a great support for issues about forgiving God, our Creator, or any authority figures.
Wild Buckwheat
When we have difficulty seeing a higher aspect of a former partner, or feel that the differences between us are too great, this essence helps us to find an unconditional acceptance of the differences between us.
Mesquite
This essence helps us to reconnect with others from a place of compassion and warmth, by healing our sense of spiritual desolation and aloofness from others.
Syrian Rue
All issues about forgiveness as it relates to telling the truth is the area of support offered by this essence. Self-forgiveness for having told lies, forgiving others for lying, for betrayal, and the forgiveness required for rebuilding trust are fostered by this essence.
Thistle
As we shed the defensive armor that resulted from past dysfunctional relationships, we find ways to interact appropriately with others, and we learn to trust our spiritual connection. Forgiveness and understanding are the natural result. This essence can help us clarify our intention to forgive and then support us in accepting the process necessary to receive the grace of forgiveness.
Sacred Datura
The essence of choice for letting go, Sacred Datura also reveals to us our patience and faith as we anticipate the arrival of forgiveness.
Bless the Old-Embrace the New Formula
Its name says it all.
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