Radical Forgivness

by Kari Ann Levine

Some people say that to forgive is to forget.  But to me, forgiveness is more like a rewriting of history. A chosen change in perspective, if you will. It certainly isn't to forget.

We’re all made up of stories. Stories of our experiences. Stories of who we are. And Stories about where we’re headed. Sometimes these stories, whether we consciously intend them to or not, cause pain to ourselves and to others. 

It doesn't matter where these stories come from, or how deeply they are buried in our psychosomatic experience. It also doesn't matter if these stories are made up of false beliefs, outdated truths, downright lies, or all of the above. What matters is that we recognize these stories for what they are and release them.

To do this, we must practice forgiveness.

It can be tempting to regard these broken stories as evidence of our flaws. But this inner dialogue is the voice of that same story, and what it has to say only strengthens its grip over your perspective.

This is the moment -- while we are in the throes of blame, shame, and guilt -- for forgiveness. If, while we’re caught in the crossfire of an old story we can shift into forgiveness -- radical forgiveness -- that old story will begin to breakdown.

Forgiveness is a powerful energetic practice. It immediately puts us in a space of acceptance. Suddenly, instead of seeing with eyes of blame, we can see with eyes of compassion for why we were carrying that story around with us in the first place, why we might still be holding on to it, and (most importantly) that we can finally let it go.

To be clear -- letting go of a story is not the same as forgetting it. Though, I think this confusion is where the colloquium comes from. To forget our stories would only continue to perpetuate the lie that they should be shamefully hidden and to kept in the dark.

To forgive -- and to forgive radically -- requires us to peer into the darkest corners of our history, but to do so holding the torch lit with the fire of complete and unconditional acceptance for ourselves in all of our experiences, all of our stories, and all of the lessons we have learned because of them.

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About the Author

Kari Ann Levine is a yoga teacher, writer, and entrepreneur living in Tempe, Arizona. She found inspiration in Yoga while she was in graduate school in 2011, eventually earning her Masters in Sociology researching Yoga and it's impact on people's lives. Kari's teaching style in the practice room mirrors her voice as a writer, and her approach to life — be real with yourself even when it's hard, because the reward for authenticity is worth far more than the cost of even the greatest struggle. Kari is a firm believer in modern day mysticism, living by the philosophy that spirituality is experienced in all the dust and divinity that is the right here and right now. She is committed to being a perpetual student of her heart and soul — and sharing the wisdom she learns with others.