Finding forgiveness, forgoing fear
This year, for many of us, forced or willingly, we’ve had to spend way more time than is usual, or often is comfortable, sitting with ourselves and our own internal dialogue.
I observed in physical lockdown [that] I went into a mental lockdown. Inside my own head for extended periods, with less external interactions, I found it easy to disappear down a less-than-rosy rabbit hole of self-doubt and self-criticism some days. Where was the White Rabbit and jam tarts when I landed at the bottom of the rabbit hole?
Second time around in isolation, I’m trying to cultivate greater self-forgiveness in my work output, my parenting, my yoga practice, my lack of personal grooming! I am observing how if I relieve some pressure of the ‘I’m not doing enough’, how it affords me more space and freedom to ‘be’ rather than always ‘do.’
The feeling of forgiveness
A student asked me recently, ‘What’s the difference between letting something go, and real forgiveness?’ What a great question, I thought.
It’s an easy enough choice to let something go, intellectually. We can choose not to let one flippant, unconscious comment from a workmate or friend derail our day or cause our self-worth to plummet. We can be the bigger person and think that is your stuff, not mine.
However, it’s an altogether different story, and far more difficult, to just wave goodbye to long-held trauma, abuse or shame. As you [may] know, our cells hold memories. Held emotions stay in the subtle body, in the auric electro-magnetic field, and the internal organs – usually kidney and liver. Many believe these unresolved emotions can lead to cell mutations, ill health and disease in the body if not worked out. Some theories even define cancer as unresolved grief, pain and anger mutating in our bodies.
Research shows that the majority of people who have struggled with substance abuse, over-eating, eating disorders or self-harming experienced, in their past, significant trauma, neglect, insecure attachment or abuse that they don’t have the tools to be resolve in a non-destructive way.
In Kundalini Yoga we speak of seven year cycles and that an energetic imprint of a man’s energy is stored in the electromagnetic field (your aura) of the female, for seven years after a relationship is finished. There are meditations and techniques to clear that energetic residue, but you get my drift! If the relationship was abusive that trauma is stored inside the cells, and if left unresolved, can lead to mental or physical imbalances and neuroses.
Untreated trauma, and the inability to know how to forgive and discharge these emotions, can negatively impact a person’s sense of safety and trust and sense of worth.
This is where meditation, yoga and emotional release techniques can be beneficial. Often when we have suffered deep childhood trauma you notice a shutting down of the heart chakra. People put on an armour, and a toughness to prevent having to feel that pain again. We find sometimes these people are super-independent, not needing connection, not needing love, very high achievers in their professions – when deep down their souls are screaming out for love and attachment.
Forgiving someone isn’t letting them off the hook, or denying accountability for any pain and trauma caused, but it is a conscious choice you can make – physically and emotionally – to move forward into freedom and wholeness.
Take yourself back to an early childhood memory: riding a bike fast for the first time, or jumping into huge waves in the ocean – when you felt utterly, blissfully free. Close your eyes, and feel that sensation again as if you were eight-years-old.
On a training course around Authentic Relationships last year, we had a group discussion about parental relationships. Out of about 20 of us, not one single person didn’t have some kind of Mum or Dad issue they were still holding on to.
One student bravely shared her feelings about a deep sense of rejection and actual abandonment by her parents, that had scarred her since childhood. One comment from another participant that stuck with me was incredible:
‘You were let down, you were abandoned, but did your soul ever abandon you?’
This is one path of discovery we navigate on our yoga journey. Our soul’s journey in this lifetime is to cultivate and grow that inner strength of our unique value, worth, beauty, no matter what our childhood was like or what that former partner did to hurt us.
By strengthening the nervous system, repairing the auric field (our emotional buffer), and cultivating the neutral rather than the negative mind we can heal ourselves. We can take more of a birds-eye view of others behaviour and not be as emotionally triggered by it, or have the voice to call it out as hurtful when we do experience it. (On a good day!)
If you’re ready to release stuck emotions, and learn to love yourself more deeply, this up-coming Kundalini Yoga workshop on releasing fear and building techniques to heal past wounds may resonate with you.
Remember happiness is your birth right, and no one has the power to take that away from you.
Baldev Kaur (Justina) is a Level Two Kundalini Yoga and Meditation Teacher who has been teaching since 2005. Justina trained in the UK with Guru Dharam Singh and Shiv Charan Singh in a deeply transformational style of hatha-based ‘raj’ yoga, known as the ‘yoga of awareness’. Justina is also a communications consultant with a passion for developing wellbeing and leadership workshops that filter yogic teachings into the corporate world.