The interconnectedness of all things.
Modern quantum physics demonstrates the complex & dynamic nature of the interconnectedness of all things. Literally everything is vibrating energy. On this level it makes sense that the energy that you create and nurture (thinking you are only directing it toward someone who you deem “wrong”) is also affecting your own energy. Conversely when you foster positive energy through acceptance, forgiveness and compassion you are also nurturing that energy in your own beingness.
When you judge and hold another person in condemnation, you create and re-enforce the neural networks in your own brain on those concepts. Then, when things do happen, your brain has a vast supply of negative neural networks to utilize to access and navigate those situations and more limited supply of networks that support a more positive perspective and range of ways to practically and emotionally navigate the situation. The brain is highly efficient so it is not just applying these networks selectively to your interactions with others, it also browses these networks in processing and dealing with your own issues which results in your own self-identification.
Let’s see this in action
For example, let’s say you are holding resentment and judgment against someone because they stole $20 when they were visiting your house one day. That seems pretty legit. Most people would agree that this is not acceptable and you could banter with them for hours about what an idiotic, wrong doing person this is. In doing so, you are of course, creating and projecting negative energy that effects everyone involved as well as re-enforcing your own negative neural networks.
"Forgiveness is acceptance of the human being not approval of an action."
Forgiveness is acceptance of the human being not approval of an action. When you practice forgiveness you accept and move beyond the action which has occurred, enabling you to hold the other person in a place of love. It is not related to punishment (for example legal action that might be taken) and restitution (which may or may not occur). It does not imply approval of an action, words etc. of the person. It is merely acceptance and forgiveness.
Creating a working model and mindset for your own low self-image – whoops!
But how does the 20$ thief relate to self-love?
You probably have a cut and dry opinion about stealing. Why would someone steal? What conditions and life situations might lead them to the final event of standing in your living room and swiping $20 off your table? Well its not about you. Nothing about this act has anything to do with you. It could be many things. They might have an addiction driving their behavior, they might have a psychological condition that drives this behavior (looking for attention, cry for help, coping mechanism rooted in trauma etc). They might just be in a very bad financial situation and desperate for cash to get by. But one thing is for sure, there is something driving that action and it’s not good, fun to deal with, or anything any of us would want to have to struggle with. The point I’m trying to make is that when you begin to unravel the path behind the action you start to see what the person has dealt with that brought them to this place.
I’ll take shame & guilt for a thousand Alex! No really I/you will…
We have all these moments in life. Though it may show up wearing a different outfit. Maybe you lied about your abilities to get a job you really needed or wanted. Maybe you flew off the handle and cursed at an innocent checkout clerk when you were really frustrated one day. Maybe you said something to your partner or kids that you wish had never come out of your mouth. There are many things, large and small – even very very small things in your day to day process of making choices and navigating life that you could ultimately feel guilty about. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could recognize the learning value in those experiences and simply move on the better for it? But Noooooo. You are going to apply this same judgement, condemnation and permanent labeling to yourself that you have become so well practiced at by applying it to others. It is the model you use and re-enforce, creating your own mindset.
The subconscious mind- it goes deeper, much deeper- check this out!
The bar that you hold up for others is the same bar that you hold up for yourself. Now you can begin to see how the guilt and shame begins to gain a foothold in your own neural networks and self-image. Its unshakable and inescapable because you have created the whole entire framework in which to house and process it- it literally has no way to get out. So where does it go? Well deep into your subconscious and becomes part of your mindset and self-image. This is who I am. Deep down I am that not so great person who didn’t give the $10 overage of change back to the checkout clerk when I was 16 or the person who let a friend stumble into a bad situation when I was 23 or the person who dropped F-bombs when my kid pushed me into the full bath tub as a joke.
Nope, I am not going to let myself off the hook and free myself to move on because I don’t do that for others- that’s not how it works. I have not created a model for forgiveness and evolution that I can follow and apply to myself as well as others. So what lingers deep down inside (what you hold as a true subconscious belief about yourself) is that despite all of the good, you are still not a good person because you have not been able to forgive yourself and this leads to not loving yourself.
The link, the link, the link!
When you shift your model/mindset and practice forgiveness to others, you also shift your own framework and mindset for dealing with your own emotions, feelings and beliefs about yourself. The same understanding & compassion you afford to others you then afford to yourself. The same ability that you have to process and release your emotions about others (rather than ruminating or suppressing) you than apply to yourself. Low and behold you begin to discover that as the deep dark self-judgments and condemnations lift away there is a pretty spectacular person in there.
The really good news is that this is not actually an ongoing process of forgiveness and release (for yourself or others). You get to the point where forgiving is no longer needed. You jump from the beginning of the process to the end with internalized understanding and automatic processing. The same automatic processing that drives current patterns of grudge holding, judgement and condemnation. How cool is that! Like anything else though you just gotta do it. Pebbles on the pile and soon you will be at the top of a mountain.