As a child we get taught forgiveness, but we don't quite have our core beliefs yet and our emotions aren't entangled with them, nor have we discovered what forgiveness means, so it seems pretty easy.
Forgiving as an adult can be a long process, with a suitcase full of trauma and our belief systems dictating our emotions it can be really hard and sometimes we may even think that we have forgiven but our bodies are not quite ready to let it go.
I recently did a self guided healing session and went pretty deep on forgiveness as I knew that I had to forgive myself for past situations but I wasn't sure how. It showed me that things I thought I had let go of and forgiven from the past, things I hadn't even thought about in over a decade, I was still holding on to. In my mind I thought that I had let go and forgiven all of this past trauma, but deeply set in my subconscious it was still there. This I was shocked by but I also found so amazing that these memories and unprocessed emotions could still be stored in my body, years later.
The Human body is complicated and has so many intricate layers that I do not believe we have fully discovered its capabilities yet. What I do believe and know to be true is that our mind has an elaborate protective mechanism that when we are faced with adversity, we cannot fully process it all at the time, so it stores it within our subconscious and our bodies for a later date when we are ready to deal with it.
When we choose to not forgive consciously and sub-consciously it buries itself within the layers making us feel heavier somatically (some people even display this physically with weight gain). These unprocessed emotions block the flow of energy within our bodies and enable our ability to give and receive love. It also can lead to relationship issues, trauma based behaviour, and manifest in illness and disease mentally and physically.
One thing about forgiveness that you may not know is that it is never one sided. You may think that the other is only at fault but you are also to blame. It creates emotional instability and trust issues within ourselves. It makes us think that we should have known better, filling us with shame and guilt around the situation and future altercations that are similar. So when you choose to forgive others you also choose to forgive yourself, it is all linked. To tell you the truth, it's not easy forgiving yourself, especially with the ego getting in the way saying "I am not at fault". But we have got to remember we are not working around blame, that is a low vibrational energy and doesn't serve us in any way. Making space for forgiving yourself and others will create so many more opportunities for happiness and personal growth.
If you are grieving, or have been on a grief journey, forgiveness can be a huge part of that. I know it has been for me: forgiving myself for not spending enough time with my mum before she passed, forgiving myself of how I dealt with the grief, how I abused my body with terrible food and too much wine to cope and learning how to forgive my mum for leaving me. Grief brings on a whole other level of forgiveness and it can take a lot of time to heal and even acknowledge these things. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time, you will know when you are ready.
I was once told ' Forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past.' We cannot change the past but we can change our future and how we want to show up.