“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise.” ― Byron Katie
“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.” ― William Arthur Ward
Forgiveness is the way out of victimhood. In the beginning stages of realizing that our life needs a serious overhaul, a radical transformation because the pain and stagnation has become too much, we’re usually looking at our life circumstances and feeling a victim to them. This creates a great deal of pain within as we try to understand why all of the seemingly bad and unwanted experiences have been showing up, and possibly asking why we are always struggling through something. I know I’ve asked the question of God many times as to why this or that has to be the circumstance or experience of my life. This leaves us always in a state of victimhood and there is nothing to feel but helplessness and suffering in this state.
So how do we move up the stages of our personal evolution, transforming ourselves, empowering ourselves, and loving ourselves into a new inner and outer life experience? I’ve come to realize that it is through forgiveness as a starting point. I mentioned in a previous blog on forgiveness how important it is to start by forgiving yourself, and that forgiveness begins to create a space for transformation. Forgiveness isn’t about needing to forgive those who have done us wrong so that we can follow a spiritual concept and show how pious we are. At least it isn’t to me. Forgiveness not only frees us from the bondage of our own self-judgment when we forgive ourselves, but it also begins our climb out of the quicksand of victimhood when we forgive what it appears someone has done to us. Living life as a victim is such an easy way to never take responsibility for your life or what you experience. When you’re stuck in that mentality, you wonder why nothing goes right for you or why you can’t have the life you want. The fact is you’ll always be stuck there if you have what is called an external locus of control. In psychological terms this external locus of control refers to a belief that forces outside yourself affect your ability to succeed.
This state of blame keeps you completely externally focused and never having to deal with or look at your own deeper issues, the real cause of your inability to succeed or create the life you want. You don’t see that it is your own system of thoughts and beliefs that are blocking you. When you forgive what others have done out of their own ignorance or pain and how you have allowed it to affect you, you begin the process of taking responsibility back for the state of your own life. Now the power is back in your hands and the ability to create, which has always been there, can begin to become activated in you once again. Once you’re no longer blaming others, you begin to unravel the thought forms that have kept you stifled or stuck. Now you have space to work on something that you can actually control. From here, then you can move on into the stage of learning how to work with your thoughts, your patterns, your perceptions and to getting aligned with the larger order of things.
In essence, you get your life back when you work the process of forgiveness. It’s imperative that we each retrieve control of our lives from the illusion we’ve been operating under, thinking that things are happening to us instead of through us and from us. Forgiveness is probably the single hardest spiritual concept to undertake as a practice, in my opinion. This is also what makes it one of the most powerful. As I said before in my post on self-forgiveness, it is a topic I’m sure I’ll be coming back to again and again.
I’m hoping this proves helpful for you as we start a new year and a new opportunity to either begin the process of transformation or deepen such an undertaking we have already begun.
Happy New Year to you all!