When someone harms us or is hurtful in some way, we tend to absorb and retain these energies. We often obsess about the experience, and tell everyone we know, letting the story and its feelings grow. Our response to harm may be self-righteous indignation, or chronic pain and suffering. It may be retaliation. Or it may stimulate our own feelings of low self worth or self-hate. We might invest time, thought and emotion in wondering why someone hurt us. We can reflect on their possible thoughts, feelings, upbringing, goals and motivation. We can spend copious amounts of time thinking of the ways they should change and mend the hurt they cause, or we can fantasize acts of vengeance. Our communication, body language, and actions are often attempts to manipulate or punish, those whom we feel have hurt us. All of these reactions reinforce negative energy within us and attract more hurtful interactions, which keeps us stuck in the problem.
Forgiveness is for moving forward instead of stagnating or regressing. Forgiveness puts the energy in giving rather than witholding. When our actions and attitudes arise from forgiveness, we open ourselves up to receiving positive, healing energy. Instead of focusing on who hurt us and why, we can identify the consequences of harm that we carry inside of us and in our interactions with life. We can surrender all of the ways in which we are hurtful to ourselves and others. We can refuse to participate in or add to any harm that visits us. Our best response to harm or potential harm is to seek safety, assistance, healing, a better understanding of ourselves, and personal and spiritual growth. We can shift our focus from the problem to the solution, from anger to peace, from stress to serenity, from despair to grace. And we can do this work with the emotions of compassion, curiosity, faith, gratitude and humility. This puts us in harmony with the flow of life, irregardless of current conditions. When we no longer feed the fire of negativity, we can rise from the flames of harm and allow our hearts to tell a whole new story.