(Click for audio: Forgiveness and the Art of Letting Go)
The very pain that you suffer, the very failure to demonstrate over some matter that touches your own life deeply, may rest upon just this spirit of unforgiveness that you harbor toward the world in general. Put it away with resolution.
This statement from Emile Cady is significant on many levels. She depicts the act of not forgiving as a cause for suffering, a blockage that may be keeping the greater good you desire from coming into manifestation. How could one act of holding on create an effect in a seemingly unrelated area?
In dealing with spiritual principle, the object of our unforgiving attitude is not as relevant as the attitude itself. If someone does you wrong, for example, you will likely hold resentment toward them. Imagine a once free-flowing stream that someone blocks with sandbags. It doesn’t matter why the person placed the sandbags in the stream, the drying up effect downstream is the same regardless.
We’re beginning to understand that our attitudes, like the sandbags, either restrict the flow of our life or encourage it. A person who you believe has done you wrong has no power to affect conditions in your life. How you think of this person does. Your motive for holding them in contempt may well be justified. But you have to ask yourself if holding such an attitude is worth the inner discomfort you experience, or the potential blockage that may ensue from your holding on. Forgiveness is not about condoning the ill actions of another; it’s about letting go of attitudes that may be blocking your good.
As an exercise, imagine the sandbags blocking the stream, and downstream is completely dried up. With a knife, you begin slicing open the bags. The sand pours out and the water begins to move, carrying the loose sand with it. Soon the current is strong enough to carry the sand and the empty bags away.
What others do or do not do to us may have an impact, but this does not come close to the impact we have on ourselves when we refuse to let go. Apply this simple exercise to your situation and see what a difference it can make.