Everyone experiences betrayal, heartache and pain at some point in their lives. It’s easy to let the pain of the event take control and set the atmosphere of our emotions according to those negative moments. Learning to disengage at the point prior to that emotional response as it begins to replay and recycle within us is where the true power lies. Of course, whenever a relationship comes to an end or a betrayal has been exposed there is going to be an emotional response. There is little we can do to thwart those initial negative feelings. However, as thoughts and feelings begin to cycle through us as we remember it in the days and months following the experience we have a myriad of choices with what to do with that energy.
Most people just witness the cycling and recycling of that old stored information as thoughts and memories and a general replaying of the event in its entirety begin the endless cycle of rolling through our minds. These thoughts are repetitive and set off events on a physical level each time they cycle. Cortisol and other components of physical stress are released and the body goes through fight or flight cycles over and over again just because we are becoming locked in the experience mentally and psychologically. In other words, we are reacting to a stressor that has already passed and we are continuing to sacrifice our health and well being by allowing this cycle to continue.
But how can we turn it off? You may be asking as you are reading this article. The answer is simple and yet complex. We cannot just turn it off. But we can disassemble it. The first step in the disassembly of this cycle is to mute the volume of the memory. We do this by a process of separation. In order to even slow down the whirl of screaming memories tied to powerful emotions that ravage us when we have a negative life event is to create space inside of ourselves. Below, I will outline the steps to take control of your memories and your life in order to accept the invitation to peace.
- Create a virtual memory box in your mind’s eye. Make it sturdy and strong and deep. Place a lock on it if you like. Be sure you are able to “see” this box when your close your eyes.
- Place the box in a room of your mind that you will call acceptance. This is a medium sized white room with white carpet and a thick white curtain covering the doorway. The room has a soft, plush feel to it. There is no sound in this room. Just plush, peaceful silence.
- Now you will envision yourself carrying your memory box into that room and placing it wherever you feel it should be. It can be close to the door or against a wall or in the center of the room.
- Once you have placed this box in the room you are ready to begin disassembling traumas in your life.
- Stand in front of the box and ask your body what event is trapped inside it and causing injury.
- Your body may show you several events simultaneously. You will only want to work with one at a time.
- Choose ONE circumstance or event that you have been shown that has made you feel particularly angry, hurt or abandoned.
- Next, identify the individual onto whom you are projecting your negative feelings. This person will be the one that you “blame” or feel aggression, hostility or anger toward. You may feel like they caused it – or that they simply didn’t protect you.
- Many emotions will surge forward at this time and the cycle of memory and physical response will begin.
- Don’t listen to the chatter or repetitive angry thoughts that are moving in your mind. Instead, place your palms together and intend to create a bubble as you slowly pull them apart. See the bubble growing a thick colorful wall that is also transparent so you can see that there is nothing inside of it yet.
- Now, take a deep breath focusing on the person you are angry with and the circumstance that is painful for you.
- Project both parts into this bubble. The person and the event. You will now be able to see them in the center of the bubble. You will notice there is no longer any chatter around you. You have sealed it within the bubble.
- You have just separated the event from yourself and your physical body.
- Now it is time to separate the individual from the event.
- Allow the bubble to float in front of you as you are still observing the event and the person inside.
- Create a smaller bubble by placing your palms together and pulling them slowly apart.
- Focus on the individual in the bubble and draw them out and away from the event and into the second bubble.
- Allow both bubbles to float in front of you for a few minutes. Observe how you feel about the person how that he/she has been separated from the event.
- Look at your box and see the lid open and a golden beam of light beaming out of it.
- Visualize yourself pushing the first bubble with the event trapped inside toward the light coming out of the box. You will see that the light is a vacuum and will pull it deep into the box now.
- Take the remaining bubble in your hands and pull it close to you in your mind’s eye.
- Look at the person and observe them. What are they doing? Are you seeing him or her at work or with their children? Are you seeing them crying? Are they just looking back at you motionless?
- As you quietly observe this individual in the plush silence of this soft, white room you are becoming more relaxed. You will notice you feel much less anger. Much less fear is surrounding this person.
- Ask God to show you this person the way He sees them. Ask Him to reveal to you the beauty and the pain of the person you have been holding responsible for your hurtful experience. Be still and wait. You will start to see glimpses of this person that will create a three dimensional image of them as a whole. You will see them possibly as a small child or even a baby. You will start to feel yourself soften toward them. This is very good. Allow this to unfold for your healing.
- Accept that while they may have actually intended to hurt you – they are still an individual who has been hurt in life as well. See yourself in that person. See your helplessness in them and feel their helplessness in you. Invite understanding and stillness into this experience.
- You are not accepting that this was rightful. You are not expressing that what happened or what they did is acceptable. You are accepting instead that what happened – has happened and it cannot be undone. You are accepting it in order to release the toxicity from your body.
- When you have begun to feel a neutral emotion toward the person (and this can take more than one exercise) you are ready to let them go. If it doesn’t happen in the first exercise simply leave the bubble floating in this room and revisit in a day or a week and pick up the exercise again.
- You will know when you are ready and it is time to release this person from your body’s cells.
- When the time is come and you feel ready to set this person free you will simply create a beautiful window in one of the walls of this room in your mind. Outside this window is a field of flowers and trees with birds and rabbits and a host of other animals.
- Open this window and carry the bubble toward it carefully.
- With a gentle push, release the bubble out the window and watch it float away into the distance.
- Now go back to the box.
- If it is closed, open the lid.
- Pull the bubble up out of the box. It is empty.
- There are no traces of the event left in the bubble that was trapped in the box. It is gone from your body and cannot do physical harm to you anymore.
Of course, when you do this exercise the first time you will doubt that it has worked. It will seem too simple to have any impact on such a traumatic event in your life. And the memories will try and replay again. The difference will be that you will not FEEL the negative emotions. You will now be a quiet observer of these thoughts. They have been separated from you and cannot hook themselves into your endocrine system anymore. You will have thoughts of the person. You may even have displeasing thoughts of the person. That’s okay. Because the work has been done and what you are experiencing now is a re-run of an old episode of your life that you didn’t like very much anyway. The best thing to do during these “re-runs” is to change the channel. Refocus your mind on something opposite and pleasing. Soon, you will not experience the re-runs as often and eventually it will fade to the background of your memory – no longer alive.
You see, our emotions are what give life to our regrets, our fears and our memories. Without emotion it is simply observation. Observation is healthy because it prevents the physical entanglement that has the power to do harm to us when our emotions become involved with the psychological experience of replaying past events in our minds.
To forgive is to release from bondage those people and things that continue to do us harm so long as they are trapped in the webbing of our emotions continually acting out a war on the landscape of our physical bodies. We can create blank canvases on which to live again and again when we learn to practice releasement and acceptance. Forgiveness is an invitation to peace. It is the same invitation issued from a thousand different sources to all of us and we cannot afford to deny even one without sacrificing our total well-being. Forgiveness is ointment to the soul and medicine to the body whether we are recipient or sender. To understand this is wisdom, to practice it is health and to share it is abundance.