“We’re not asking them to reach the place of forgiveness. Because we’ve
never seen anybody, in an effort to forgive, that didn’t just activate the
whole mess all over again. Because you gotta focus on what you’re forgiving.
You gotta to stir it all up again and bring yourself to the place of pain
again. And from that place of pain, you can’t forgive. They are different
ends of the vibrational spectrum, you see. So all that happens is – you stir
it up, you get feeling awful, you reactivate all of the pain, and then you
rebirth the hate mechanism – or the anger mechanism – because that was the
path of least resistance to the pain – and the cycle never, ever stops. We
don’t encourage forgiveness, we encourage forgetting.”
The above came in this morning through a facebook group that I had signed up for. I don’t know if the quote was pulled out of context, and I haven’t read The Law of Attraction or other offerings by Abraham-Hicks, but I do know that this attitude, so wonderfully and clear expressed here, is quite common, and I feel, misguided and possibly dangerous.
For me, the whole point of memory, of consciously returning to difficult scenes in the past, is to re-trigger it so that it can be consciously worked with, to the point of letting go. With this as my intent, I reactivate the feelings of original occasions that triggered me into fear (and then hate, as a defense against the fear).
This is not an easy process. It flies in the face of instinct. I had to learn how to bear the seemingly unendurable pain of “sitting in my stuff,” that icky, yucky toxic goop that feels so awful that of course I want to fly right out of it and forget I ever felt it, forget it ever happened, and hate and avoid whoever it is that I think “caused” it.
What I have found, over more than 30 years of doing this kind of inner work, is that if I can fully face and embrace the experience, no matter how painful, then all by itself, the pain eventually dissolves. Thus my motto: Face, Embrace, Erase. And by the way, once I embrace the past, forgiveness follows naturally.
I’ll never forget the first time I did this kind of work. I was with a dear friend, Lyn, who agreed to serve as witness and midwife. I went back into memory, back to the time when I was with my parents as a very young child, deliberately and consciously invoking the original feelings of being rejected and abandoned by both parents. Gradually, I found my circle widening to encompass not just what I was feeling, but what they were going through as well. I began to experience their situation, the cultural forces coursing through them that had extruded into the dynamic between them: my German father, just back from the Phillipines, and World War II, stern, disciplinarian, and suffering unconsciously from what we now label PTSD; my mother, who had clung to him in her mind as her savior while he was gone, afraid he would never return.
On his return, he insisted on disciplining me — up until then a free spirit — according to the methods with which he had been raised, and, given his war-wounds, with no capacity to listen to or appreciate her needs and values. She, in turn, couldn’t imagine how he could be so harsh, since he was her savior, her white knight. So to avoid judging him, she shut down, and closed herself off to me.
From time on, I felt utterly alone and of no value.
Yes. In returning to that scene of myself as a two-and-a-half- year-old in 1945 from the perspective of 1984 nearly forty years later, I found myself not only fusing with my own vulnerable, wounded abandoned child, “Orphan Annie,” but, to my great surprise, the deeper I probed the experience, the more the boundaries between me and my parents dissolved. I found my awareness widening to encompass what was inside them, feeling their feelings, too, the whole confusing swirl of unacknowledged pain and fear and conflict that had absorbed them during that crucial, formative time.
I stayed with these feelings, within the mucus soup that held the three of us, for a good while, just sat there, “in my stuff.” Gradually, the awful yuckiness dissolved, and along with it, the life-long judgment against them both.
And when I say I sat there for awhile, I don’t just mean that afternoon. I returned internally to that primal scene for a number of years, with the same intent, to absorb the past fully enough so that the hot feelings could dissolve into detachment, neutrality. Lyn as witness, was followed by another dear friend, Claudia, as witness; in between, I utilized my journal, my dreams, and daily synchronicities. Always, I was noticing, allowing memory in fully enough to clear its triggers into judgment of both self and Other as bad or wrong.
The traditional, unconscious, collective, social conditioning that courses through us from the time we are born, and that makes us feel the need to separate ourselves from others and then stay there, stuck in ego, fearful and alone, is, it seems to me, what is now dissolving world-wide. It is what we mean by “the ascension process” leading towards the end of 2012. And this process is paradoxical, Plutonian. Only as we descend into the darkness and allow ourselves to be fertilized by the devouring god of the underworld, do we encounter the riches of our own inner worlds and the capacity to regenerate into fuller, richer, much more generous and gracious aliveness.
In short, I don’t think we can forget. We can block, or deny, or stomp on, or refuse, difficult memories, but then they just lurk beneath, compressed and explosive, ready to pop up when we least expect it. The weight of all those repressed memories, and the walls we must build to keep them there, make us feel heavy and numb, depressed, immobilized, and alone.
Not only can we not truly forget, but why should we? Our memories of the excruciating little dramas that we play out together, and that I feel we contracted for prior to birth with those close to us, are precious, dear. Without them we would have no grist for the mill, no fuel to expand our awareness.
I feel so very very grateful to my parents, and to all my intimates, both friend and “enemy;” I feel grateful for the global situation that has brought us to brink of extinction through nuclear, capitalistic, nationalistic, and other me-first horrors that separate us from each other and the natural world; I thank all the extraterrestrial and interdimensional civilizations that are both witnessing and holding us in love as we boil inside our self-imposed cauldron; and I thank especially my larger self, for gifting me with the capacity to both experience the pain and difficulty of duality, and then to guide me in learning how, with time and opportunity, to dissolve duality into oneness.