The Forgiveness Process detailed in this book goes way beyond the barrage of information already available on the subject of forgiveness. The author explains the profound negative effect unforgiveness has on the body, mind and spirit, and shares her personal discovery about what forgiveness really is, a unique and effective process for actually doing it, and a way to confirm to one’s self that it’s been done. She has also shared her Soul-Math™ Formula, a powerful way to dig into the depths of one’s subconscious and discover why certain problems exist for that person. This Formula can point out what must be forgiven even though one thinks they’ve already forgiven everyone and everything! Also included are many “consciousness U-turns,” or ways to change and align one’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions in order to support fulfilling results and a happier and more productive experience of life.
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Forgiveness ... It Is Not What You Think It Is!
Learn What It Really Is! How To Do It! Know When You've Done It!
By Phylis Sparks
Balboa PressCopyright © 2016 Phylis Sparks
All rights reserved.
ATTEMPTS TO DEFINE "FORGIVENESS"
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. — Lewis B. Smedes
AS CHILDREN, WE were more than likely told that forgiving others was the right thing to do. If we didn't hear it in Sunday school, we heard somewhere, "To err is human, to forgive divine," "Forgiveness is a virtue," "Let bygones be bygones," "Turn the other cheek," and "Forgive and forget." Somebody was always trying to convince us that forgiving another person was the honorable, good, and morally correct thing to do. Many times, along with that instruction came the direct or implied threat of supernatural punishment if we didn't forgive, along with an accumulation of guilt for having held onto a grudge.
Forgiveness has been defined as a voluntary act on the part of a victim to change their attitude toward their offender by releasing and letting go of negative emotions regarding an offense. It has been described as a commitment to giving up grudges, anger, resentment, bitterness, and other hurtful emotional wounds and obstructions to one's peace of mind. Forgiveness has also been described as wiping the slate clean, canceling a debt, or pardoning someone who has wronged you. Now I'm not suggesting that such definitions are wrong, but they are superficial and fail to pierce the depths of one's subconscious storehouse of false beliefs that may be causing hesitation, limitation, procrastination, stagnation, and general unhappiness. These buried beliefs foster low self-worth, blame, resentment, and other deeply submerged agitations, and can only be faced and forgiven when revealed at a conscious level.
There are all kinds of suggestions floating around on how to forgive, including seeing things from the other person's point of view or realizing by holding onto negative reactions we do nothing more than hurt ourselves. These suggestions may soften the intensity of blame and anger, but the results are often short-lived. Very seldom do they have a lasting effect upon the reasoning mind of the victim who seeks justice, revenge, or, at the very least, an apology from the offender.
As a result of some bullying aimed at me when I was a child, I remember my mother trying to comfort me by teaching me to chant back, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!" Later in life, I realized that this had done nothing but fling my anger back at the person who flung their nastiness at me. It may have made me feel a bit stronger, and temporarily pulled me out of my own self-pity, but in reality all it did was add to the debris of unresolved anger in my subconscious mind. I carried this unconscious emotional burden throughout my life. That is until I consciously recognized it for what it was and learned how to truly forgive and free myself.
There are many superficial directives floating around for handling hurt, anger, victimhood, and various other emotional pain. These suggestions or instructions often include the act of forgiveness. But the sad fact is, what most people perceive as forgiveness is simply an "out of sight, out of mind" approach in an effort to make themselves feel better. They then become blind to what's stored in the subconscious mind, weighing them down and burdening them like a heavy, toxic emotional backpack. This invisible backpack often grows over time and impedes their progress toward a life of fulfillment and success. Very few have grasped the fact that unforgiveness lurking in the mind and heart eventually takes a toll on one's physical and mental health and well-being, as well as the joy of living.
The one thing most everyone seems to agree on is that forgiveness opens the way for greater health, happiness, and freedom to move on with one's life. But what is it, really? How do you actually do it? And how do you know for sure that it's been done? Oh, it could be a matter of simply letting go, but what in the world does that mean?
Before I offer my viewpoint on what forgiveness really is, I think it's important to clarify what unforgiveness is so that you know what you're dealing with as you apply the Forgiveness Process.
What Is Unforgiveness?
The answer to this question seems obvious. Most everyone would say that unforgiveness is the opposite of forgiveness.
Well, to expand upon the obvious, unforgiveness is the emotional replay of past events in the present moment every time someone or something triggers a memory of those events. Unforgiveness is about being frozen or stuck in a mental and emotional reaction to a perceived wrong aimed in your direction. Once you react with hurt feelings, self-pity, feelings of abandonment, resentment, bitterness, anger, hatred, or revenge, and then continue to indulge in these feelings when reminded of the memory, that is unforgiveness.
For many, unforgiveness is an "eye for an eye" mentality, a burning desire to get back at the perpetrator and the insistence that the culprit pay for what he or she did.
Unforgiveness can also apply to one's attitude toward one's self. A person may be anchored or emotionally stuck in the goo of self-blame, shame, or guilt, with no lasting remedy for truly forgiving him- or herself and enjoying the freedom of self-respect and self-acceptance.
Most people simply do not understand how damaging unforgiveness can be to their mind, body, and spirit. Emotional resentment can fester and grow, poisoning your spirit and burdening your soul. These debilitating and toxic feelings create blocks of emotional interference that make the experience of happiness, peace, and well-being impossible, or at best, rare. In short, unforgiveness is painful. Break the word painful into smaller words, and you get "pay-in-full."
Many are taught from a young age that unforgiveness is sinful and unacceptable. The leverage used to encourage forgiveness has been the fear of retaliation from a judgmental God. As a result, many people claim to have forgiven someone when, in fact, that claim is just empty words, a naïve assertion that forgiveness has happened, or what amounts to lying to one's self.
I'm always amazed at the ever-increasing number of people I encounter in my classes, lectures, or counseling sessions who claim to have forgiven, yet are experiencing an inability to move forward or to feel motivated or enthusiastic about starting a project or pursuing their dreams. They fail to realize or even consider that unforgiveness is the culprit holding them back. They think just telling themselves, "Let it go" or "This isn't important, just ignore it," will do the trick. But when a person is hanging onto deep feelings of anger or self-pity, repeatedly talking about a person in a critical and judgmental way, or deliberately ignoring somebody, they are still plugged into an event from the past that continues to contaminate the present and retard the future. They haven't at all understood what real forgiveness is, how to do it, or how to be sure they have done it.
Many people are up to their necks in unforgiveness, claiming to have nothing to forgive. But if you can recall an incident or a person, or perhaps even something you've regrettably done, and you feel a twinge of anger, hurt, repulsion, or some other negative reaction, there is still forgiving to do.CHAPTER 2
SO WHAT IS FORGIVENESS ... REALLY?
Your greatest tool for changing your world ... is your ability to change your mind about the world you behold. — Phylis Clay Sparks
SIMPLY STATED, TRUE or authentic forgiveness is permanent emotional detachment. What is emotional detachment? It's the successful unplugging of what I call an "emotional umbilical cord" attaching us to a person, event, or circumstance that continues to cause emotional distress every time we're reminded of that memory. Being emotionally attached or plugged in means having a strong "emotional charge" connecting us to what someone did to offend, harm, or otherwise hurt us. These memories sustain their impact by sucking our energy. No wonder so many people feel tired or stressed most of the time!
Now don't misunderstand. I'm not suggesting that it's possible to erase a memory. I'm saying it's entirely possible to emotionally detach from that memory and everyone involved, so when that memory is triggered or recalled, it has no power to disturb or interfere with one's happiness and well-being.
Imagine how wonderful it must feel to be free from the emotional reaction to a memory that continually drags you down into anger, resentment, or some other energy-zapping emotion. That memory could be about something that recently happened, or it could be a deeply embedded hurt or regret that happened a long time ago. Think about how it must feel when nothing can disturb your happiness in the present moment, even when reminded of a terrible memory! Consider how incredible it must be to learn how to discover and dissolve negative emotional attachments you didn't even realize were lurking in the depths of your subconscious mind!
Still, you may be saying to yourself, "I can't forgive that person! What they did was too terrible. If I forgive, I make what they did okay!" Believe me, that's not the case.
Forgiveness Is Not Condoning
Many people think of forgiveness as condoning someone's unacceptable behavior, letting him or her off the hook. But this perspective keeps one emotionally attached to that person and that memory, which adds up to unforgiveness.
Keep in mind that the value of true forgiveness is freeing yourself to fully participate in and enjoy the present moments of life. It's about not being deeply invested in or concerned about someone else getting their just due. Now this doesn't mean backing down when it's appropriate to take a stand, perhaps having to do with your job or some important legal concern. But even that can be done without an "eye for an eye" mentality or desire for retaliation. Trust me when I point out that whomever dishes out ugliness, unkindness, or unfairness will somewhere, somehow get back what they've given out. They will reap what they have sown, and by virtue of Universal Law, which will be explained later in this book, they will draw to them that which is of like kind.
The truth is, we don't need to condone unacceptable behavior, nor do we need to punish ourselves by insisting we have to do something about the situation. What we need to do is unplug mentally and emotionally from that person and their actions. Only by doing this can we ultimately accomplish true forgiveness and the freedom to move on.
Why Is Forgiveness so Important?
I really want you to understand how important true forgiveness is to a happy life. In fact, it's mandatory. But I can hear you saying, "Mandatory!? That means I have to do it! Why do I have to do it? I don't have to forgive if I don't want to, and that person doesn't deserve my forgiveness!" Right on both counts. You don't have to forgive if you don't want to, and the other person might not deserve your forgiveness. But if you really want to feel good more of the time and remove the interferences from the flow of good in your life, you must learn about and apply the Forgiveness Process with sincerity and clear intention. You are doing it for you, not them. And as I've already mentioned, you don't have to be concerned about payback. Everyone gets back what they give out according to Universal Law. Keep in mind this includes you, as a result of your own festering and toxic emotional attachments!
Genuine forgiveness is vital because it can free you from unrelenting obstructions to living at higher levels of happiness and well-being. It can free you to enjoy unlimited success and abundance. It can free you from that which might interfere with the health and well-being of your body, mind, and spirit. And last but not least, it can free you to experience the depth and quality of all other relationships in your life.
Remember: emotional attachments suck your vital energy. Think about how many of these emotional umbilical cords you may have attached to people or to negative memories over the course of your lifetime. If you have not emotionally disconnected from them, disempowered them, or dissolved them, they are still sucking your energy, and eventually you will pay with the deterioration of your physical body. This is a big component of aging and disease. By the time most people are fifty years old, many big, fat negative emotional umbilical cords have been sucking their vital energy for so many years that the cells of their bodies have gradually become deficient, deformed, distorted, and dead. That's why people look old, not just because they've reached a certain number of years.
I'd like to emphasize how important your emotional state is in creating your experience of life. Emotions are even more impactful than thoughts, perhaps because they are so involved with ingrained beliefs. Humans come into the world with a built-in life urge and a death urge, and from that point on, it's a balancing act. When you sink into the denser, thicker emotions, there is less movement of the life force, or energy, and the result is a body and mind that functions with less and less health and vitality. This means that your entire history of thought, feeling, and belief becomes your consciousness and thereby manifests in your physical form.
There's a terrific book entitled Molecules of Emotion, written by Dr. Candice Pert, an internationally recognized pharmacologist. In this book, she explains how the emotions act like drugs in the brain and the body and actually store memories in the cells of the body. She asserts that emotions are chemical ligands, or peptides, that distribute themselves in the body very specifically. This chemical interaction at the cellular level can translate into large changes in behavior, physical activity, and mood, all the result of emotional energy. In Dr. Pert's words, "The body is the unconscious mind!" She goes on to say, "Repressed traumas caused by overwhelming emotion can be stored in a body part, thereafter affecting our ability to feel that part or even move it."
Now rather than try to understand all this, it's enough to say there is scientific evidence behind the fact that emotions are key to the health of our body. Emotions are generated by thoughts, and thoughts are generated by emotions. It seems to be a two-way street. But feelings and emotions carry messages to the individual cells of the body. Because of the time it takes for the negative emotional debris stored in the cells of the body to manifest as illness, deformity, or weakness, most people do not make the connection between past events and present challenges.
Excerpted from Forgiveness ... It Is Not What You Think It Is! by Phylis Sparks. Copyright © 2016 Phylis Sparks. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Part 1 Exploring Authentic Forgiveness,
Chapter 1: Attempts to Define "Forgiveness", 3,
Chapter 2: So What Is Forgiveness ... Really?, 7,
Chapter 3: My Personal Story, 11,
Chapter 4: Get Ready, Get Set, 14,
Chapter 5: The Forgiveness Process: Forgiving Others, 16,
Chapter 6: The Forgiveness Process: Forgiving Yourself, 22,
Chapter 7: Sustaining True Forgiveness, 28,
What about the Act of Betrayal?, 29,
Part 2 Diagnosing and Correcting Problems with The Soul-Math" Formula,
Chapter 8: Get Ready to Face the Facts!, 43,
Chapter 9: The Soul-Math Formula, 45,
Chapter 10: The Soul-Math Formula: Analyzing the Problem, 56,
Chapter 11: The Soul-Math Formula: Turning Things Around, 67,
Chapter 12: Two More Amazing Success Stories, 72,
Chapter 13: Final Notes on Soul-Math, 83,
Chapter 14: Preventing Setbacks, 90,
Part 3 Turning Things Around,
Chapter 15: Clearing the Way, 97,
Chapter 16: Focus, Focus, Focus, 106,
Chapter 17: No-No's, 115,
Chapter 18: Redesigning Your Future, 124,
Final Thoughts, 137,
About the Author, 139,