Forgetfulness, Part 2 by John Cali

One of our friends wrote me in response to our recent blog post, Forgetfulness. Here’s part of what she said:

“Can you talk more on forgiveness and letting go of the resentment…attached with those memories (of pain, anger, sadness)? Is there even anything more left to be said?”

In part of my response to her I said “…there probably isn’t a lot more to say about it.”

As I thought about it this week, I remembered an earlier blog post we wrote, Families. I think there’s an answer to our friend’s question in that post. Here’s a slightly edited excerpt from the post:

“A few years ago, ‘out of the blue,’ I got a call from Jim, an old childhood friend. We had a nice chat and, as you might expect, we started talking about our families. Jim had an unhappy childhood, and even today harbors hateful feelings toward his father, now long dead

“About the same time Jim and I talked another close childhood friend contacted me. Sara and I had a fun time recalling our younger years together as friends and neighbors.

“Sara grew up in a warm, nurturing family. She spoke fondly of both her parents, whom she loved dearly. They also are long dead.

“Two different people. Two different families. And yet Jim and Sara are brother and sister.”

Because I know Jim and Sara well, I also know Sara has the same childhood memories of their father as Jim does. But Sara, though she knows their family had problems — as most families do, chose to forget the painful, sad memories and remember the joyful, happy memories.

Is that selective memory? Absolutely yes. Is that an answer to our friend’s question. I think it is.

It shows you can freely choose not to focus on the “bad” memories. Then they effectively no longer exist for you. You are beyond their reach. As the ancient Chinese mystic, Lao Tsu, said, “In order to eliminate the negative influences, simply ignore them.”

Do you have painful memories of the long-ago past haunting you today? Please give us your thoughts below.

John Cali’s Spirit Speaks Newsletter

5 Responses

  1. John Cali

    Thank you, Kathelena. I'll say the same thing to you I did to Shirl: Your wise comments add another dimension to what relatively little I said in that blog post.

    You did NOT come across as preachy, just as openly sharing your personal experiences. This is exactly the kind of response I would love to have a lot more of in this blog.


  2. John Cali

    Thank you, Shirl, for your wise comments — they add another dimension to what relatively little I said in that blog post.


  3. Kathelena

    I will post here what I tell my friends who ask the same questions: When you get to the place in life where you realize that you, from your higher perspective, set it all up for your own reasons, and that your family members, friends, and associates assisted you in providing those experiences, sometimes at great emotional cost to them, forgiveness becomes a non-issue. Instead, thankfulness, appreciation, gratitude, and honoring them for their role in your life becomes the most important thing. Then loving them instead of hating them is natural and effortless. You find yourself automatically remembering the good times, because the "bad" times no longer hold an emotional charge.

    HOW do you do that? Both John and Shirl offered great advice. For me it's been a matter of remembering and accepting that I am responsible – completely, 100% responsible – for everything that happens to me and around me, and that I always have been. To reach that place I have had to give up a lot of drama, and I have to give it up constantly. because there are times and situations where I still go there. It's the human way. But it gets easier.

    To clarify, it becomes easy to forgive when you realize nobody has ever done anything to you without your permission on some level. Taking that on as a truth is so freeing, and yet getting – and staying! – there can be difficult, because it requires not seeing ourselves as a victim. Not ever.

    I'm not suggesting it's easy, but it *is* doable. Many teachers and healers offer different ways of releasing the energy around old thoughts and beliefs, and Abraham has some wonderful tools as well. I've used a number of them to move up the scale from hurt/anger to acceptance to forgiveness to appreciation to finally honoring others for their role in my "play." It can be done, and as you do it, watch the relationships in your life magically change. John's guides would probably offer suggestions too, if you are inclined to ask for that help.

    @ John – I realize this is your blog, and don't mean to come across as preachy. Please say if you'd rather not have this kind of response, and/or simply delete my post. Thank you for offering a space in which we can discuss this very important topic!

  4. Shirl

    Forgiveness seems to be a very difficult thing for so many. I run into it from those I speak with every day. The deep hurts that they hold on to for a lifetime, some of them, are ever there still causing them pain.

    As far as I can tell no one gets through this lifetime unscathed. But what I found in my 30's and what has proven over and over again through all these years is that holding on to old hurts and long ago pains has no benefit at all. It does nothing to the person or persons we feel have wronged us, but it often severely damages our own spirit and soul to hold such things within us.

    No matter what it felt like "then," no matter how painful, the experience was just an experience and we can let it rule our whole life or we can find a place of love that says I forgive.

    What I was given to help me through my resistance to forgiveness was this: "Universe, I forgive everyone and anyone including myself for any things real or imagined that I am holding as painful memory. I release it all. And so it is."

    If and when we can arrive at a perspective I call the long view or the higher view I have found that today is the NOW that I live in. The past is far beyond me. The place that I can thrive and expand and become the best version of me is THIS NOW.

    Taking responsibility for everything in my life has allowed me to see a greater vision or a higher perspective of all things. I am not responsible for others actions but I am the only one that has responsibility for my reactions and my choices of emotional response to any experience. We each create our own reality. I certainly created mine through choices or the lack of willingness to choose anything (default).

    What I have chosen in THIS NOW is to live a life filled with LOVE and JOY, filled with miracles and wonders beyond description. And so it is that is what I experience.

    That is why I continue to say, I am the most blessed being in the Universe.

    Blessings and Hugs to all

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