Originally posted on Break The Norms
“Forgive the person you hate the most. This is your intention for our class together tonight.”
Wait, what? Why would I want to begin yoga class with this intention? Did I really need to be reminiscing about a time in my life that I really wanted to forget?
After hearing these words, I selfishly began to question my own yoga instructor and her motives behind making me do such a seemingly difficult task. My ego was not comfortable with this. This was my time. This was a place to be blissful and connected to Source.
I sat confused, and I took a deep breath. Several deep breaths. Hate seemed like such a powerful and intense word. But I focused within. For the first several minutes of class, my mind was a projection screen of unpleasant memories, emotions and feelings. As I moved through upward and then downward dog, I continued to hear the words, “Inhale love. Exhale hate. Again, forgive the person you hate the most.”
I noticed that I started to sweat nervously. Is this really possible to do in just an hour and a half? It took every ounce of my being to search deeply into my memory bank for all of my greatest teachers and what they taught me about forgiveness.
Again I heard her words, “Forgive the person you hate the most.”
Ok. Ok I got it.
In that moment, I surrendered and my ego crumbled. Everything I learned since childhood came pouring through me. I had no more excuses about why not to forgive this person. Instead, I embraced several reasons for why there was nothing else more important than doing just that.
So what were the reasons?
Forgiveness allows us to take responsibility for our own happiness. The Law of Attraction teaches us that like attracts like, and we will never experience a happy ending at the end of an unhappy journey. By holding onto anger and resentment (even in our subconscious mind), we are pre-paving our journey to be filled with anger and resentment. The way we feel and the emotions we hold are what create our future experiences.
Forgiveness presents a glimpse into the life of our dreams. Whenever we feel negative emotions or feelings, instead of holding onto them, we can acknowledge them and then turn our attention to what we do want. Only out of experiencing contrast (between having good and bad experiences), can we truly know what we really want. When we ultimately move to a place of “positive feelings,” we attract more and more positive things, and this propels us into a space where we can attract the life of our dreams.
Forgiveness allows us to see everyone in our lives as a teacher. Family members, spouses, friends, bosses – everyone is brought into our lives to teach us more about ourselves. Thanking them for being a part of our journey and teaching us lessons we no longer need to learn is an incredible step in expanding our consciousness.
Forgiveness helps us stop playing the victim card. Adjusting your perspective to a place of gratitude allows you to no longer play the victim card. You were not a victim of anything other than your own vibration and level of attraction. When we continue to blame one another, we are setting up the trap in which we ourselves will eventually fall.
Forgiveness makes us aware that everyone is doing the best they can. Have compassion for where other people are in their lives. It might not be where you are, but they are doing the best they can at their particular level of awareness and understanding.
Forgiveness allows us to take responsibility for our own lives. Our life and what we attract into it are a mere reflection of what is inside of us. Our thoughts and actions create our exterior world. So ultimately, we should be forgiving ourselves. We brought this person into our lives in the first place. They were our creation. Inner forgiveness will not only ease the relationship with the other person but also within ourselves.
Forgiveness embodies the concept of “what goes around comes around.” We are all human, and we have done “unthinkable” things. And deep down, we all yearn for the same forgiveness. When we release others from the penalties of their actions, we create a space where our own actions against others can be forgiven as well.
Forgiveness allows us to dissolve our own karma. Once you truly learn the lesson behind why this person came into your life, you will then no longer attract situations that attempt to teach you the same lesson. We can release that karma so that we no longer keep repeating the same unpleasant experience over and over again.
Forgiveness creates a space for our own level of consciousness to expand. The process of growth is continuous. The moment we stop learning, searching for lessons and expanding our consciousness, the ego steps in and takes over. We are always moving toward something greater, and forgiveness helps us get there.
Forgiveness teaches us that we should never expect anything from anyone. We should never be expecting anything from anyone. When we do this, we give up our own power. We alone are the creator of our Universe, and when we are connected to source, we no longer “need” anything from anyone.
Forgiveness teaches us about the law of self-preservation. Often we injure one another, all because we are trying to protect ourselves at someone else’s expense. We have all done it. Becoming aware of this pattern will allow us to also stop injuring others for our own benefit.
Forgiveness creates a space to let go. Not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever. Sometimes they are only there long enough to teach us the lessons we need to learn. Letting go creates space to let others into our lives.
Forgiveness is the ultimate act of love. We are all connected. We have never met a person that we have not loved. Sometimes we just don’t consciously know how to show or understand it. Simply put, forgiveness in and of itself is an act of love, which is the entire purpose of our existence. I think that in life, it is really easy to say, “I forgive so-and-so.” But deep down, the resentment and anger still lingers within us and in our subconscious minds, which then impacts our future experiences.
For me, it took an hour and a half of complete and committed intention, moving into odd shapes, chanting mantras, and inhaling incense for me to embrace all of the lessons I had learned throughout my life and to finally forgive. As we walked out of this yoga class, my friend and I looked at each other and, at the same time, said, “Wow.” I could understand then where my teacher was coming from and why she had pushed us breath-by-breath to forgive. I was grateful. Typically when I leave yoga, I feel lighter; but this time, I really felt free.