Let Go of Your Chains

Photo Credit: Geralt, Pixabay

Photo Credit: Geralt, Pixabay

Don’t wait for another person to give you permission to be free. You are already free. Let go of your chains. You already have freedom–always. Remember.

We have so many ways to keep ourselves locked in and constricted, mostly thinking we are staying safe or being “good.” We tend to lock the doors to our cages and then give the key away to others, believing they control our ability to know joy, peace and wholeness. We can keep remembering to look for our own key.

This all comes back to lack of forgiveness, lack of trust in ourselves. We carry a judgment, trauma, hardship or a shame with us for so long because we feel it protects us from experiencing the same thing again. But really, we experience it every day, because we still hold it in our hearts and minds. There is scientific evidence now that we even carry it in the cells of our bodies.

There is so much talk about forgiveness. Unfortunately, we rarely hear what it really is or how to go about it. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. It does not let them off the hook for causing harm or release them to do it again. It does not make you soft and weak to another attack. It makes you strong and healthy. It opens your heart and makes your mind more available to clarity of thought.

Similarly, self-forgiveness doesn’t mean that we neglect the harm that our actions have caused or that we proceed to do it again. I repeat, forgiveness is not weakness or giving in.

When we wait for the person that harmed us to do something to atone before we allow ourselves to forgive, we create a situation where we suffer. We usually believe that we are making the other person suffer and we even feel justified for that. But justified or not, most of the time, the other person simply doesn’t feel our suffering. We are the ones that carry it, not them. Often they are never even aware of it.

“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die”–Buddha

But even if they were aware, holding on to suffering because of something another person did only allows them to create more harm for a longer time, long after they actually stopped doing anything. We are doing it to ourselves, through our minds every time we relive the experience and our brains send that rush of neurochemicals through our bodies telling us it’s happening all over again. Over time, our bodies can even feel worse than they did during the first event. It’s repeat trauma every time we relive it and tell ourselves we are justified. We keep telling ourselves that it’s the other person’s fault, when we hold the key to our own prison cell.

So what is forgiveness? It is laying down your chains. Setting yourself free from the internal prison that the situation has created in your heart, mind and body so that you no longer have to carry it around with you every day. It is allowing yourself to release the event to the past, recognizing that it can live there, rather than in the cells of your body and in the neural pathways of your mind.

We can decide to free ourselves when we recognize that what we carry today is only ours, based in what we decide to do from this moment forward. It is not decided by past events or by other people, unless we allow that. The decision is ours and we have the freedom to make it.

It is a very liberating thing to realize you are not a slave to the past or to the memories, events and people of the past. It opens you to your fullest potential. It also invokes great responsibility for your own life. You can no longer blame the past or those who hurt you for your decisions. Your life is your own. You are no longer a slave to your wounds. You can heal.

You can begin to release those old traumas that you have stored through lack of forgiveness by simply acknowledging that you are ready to do that. It sounds incredibly simple and in some ways it is, but it’s the internal shift that is important. That is the turning point and it is the part that can be most difficult to wrap your mind and heart around.

Don't wait for freedom2Whenever an old wound comes up and you feel the constriction in your chest or throat or belly–wherever you feel it in your body–notice that you are holding that pain in your cells. That is body memory. Use that moment to recognize that you have options. You could become lost in the old stories about how painful it was, how wrong it was, how it was unfair, etc., but that will reinforce the old patterns. You will feel worse in body, mind and spirit. Ask yourself if this will heal anything in your life.

Instead, you could shift your perspective and accept your own power in this moment. Ask yourself what you can do with the idea that you may not have to keep feeling this way. Say to yourself, “I choose to release this experience from the cells of my body and from the pathways of my mind. I accept the lessons and leave the rest behind. I am free.” Notice how that feels different in your body. You may feel lighter, more open.

See how that has nothing to do with the other person? Nothing is required of them. They have nothing to do with your healing at all. You are really free of them and of the past. You are also free of any past versions of yourself you may need to let go of.

Open the prison door. Let go of the chains. Pick up the key to your own heart. You have the power to free yourself, if you dare. Just remember.

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Healing Through Freedom

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This is for my personal healing. I will say all I need to say without holding back. By doing this I will make peace with my inner self, my Higher Self will be able to more fully flow through me and my true purpose in this life will be more fully realized.

My purpose in arriving in this body, in this realm was not to strive to impress people or satisfy their judgments. Judgments are useless and we can never satisfy everyone’s judgments. I will never seek to harm another and will strive to avoid harm and relieve suffering. I am through tying this to judging my own individual behavior in every move I make and every thought I think, simply to satisfy what I believe someone else would want me to be. I am especially done believing I am not good enough or whole if someone doesn’t like me, doesn’t approve of me or doesn’t think like I do. I am always whole.

I am here for a reason, just as we all are.

I will not forget that again simply because someone else does. I have no need to think exactly as someone else does. We are all unique and this makes life full and helps us grow.  I will appreciate that, not fight against it. I don’t need correcting, nor do I need to correct others. I am not misunderstanding things. I am not blind. I am not crazy, wrong or evil simply because I don’t see things as someone else does. We all see things in our own way and we grow in our own time. I will be my true self. By doing this, I will live in joy and health, rather than dysfunction and illness. I will shine in my freedom and I won’t let my fears about others opinions shadow my light.

I am a Child of Pure Spirit. As such, I am purifying myself of obstacles such as conformity, guilt and shame so I can see the Essence of the Pure Spirit from which I came and to which I will return. A Phoenix cannot rise if it never burns. I am burning the dark, heavy parts accumulated from this world, the things that build up in all our hearts and minds and collect in the cells of our bodies. As I transform these things, I am released to rise to higher, freer, more open levels. Like the Phoenix, I am freer with each burn.

I may be misunderstood at times. This may change in time. Or it may not. I am turning this over to the Universe.  I release past harm I may have caused out of misguided ignorance on my path to this point. Ignorance and fear have often gotten the better of me. My hope is that we all watch for them.

My freedom is as much to free others as it is to free myself.

My hope for all is that we all know we are whole and lovely. By stepping into my Oneness, I hope to help others understand their own Oneness. I have needed to heal. I could not see this for a long time. I see my life has gone just the way it needed to in order to bring me to this point.

My past has often been painful and grief filled. I have had to face those demons in order to expand and see every aspect of the beauty of life and all it gives. I am doing my work to recognize and heal any sad, lonely children inside me. This is my wish for the world.

I accept that I do not have control over everything. In fact, in the past there have been times where I had little control over my own living situation, memories or thoughts. Compassion, empathy and understanding of a larger picture are all things I am trying to practice. Not everyone is. I get that. But I am and I will also practice compassion with myself.

I will eat, live and work in a way that acknowledges that we are all part of the same Energy.

This includes everything. The Earth, the Universe, supports and gives us this life force energy and it is all around us—literally. We breathe it, it courses through us, we drink it, eat it, can’t be alive without it and when we die, every part of us changes into different aspects of this same Energy. It keeps flowing, eternally. It’s beautiful and everything has this. Nothing is OK to destroy or hate. It’s all life. It all flows into and from the same Source. Out of, into, from and through. Over and over.  I am in awe of it and I hope to honor it with the way I live.