The experience of forgiveness is profound and refreshing. When we do the gritty, methodical work that goes into healing and resolving an old hurt, we dissolve the stagnant weight of resentment inside us, and our bodies are flooded with new energy. Forgiveness mends our tattered personal boundaries, improves our health and relationships, and empowers us to move forward with hope and creativity. As we release the past, we also release ourselves into the richness of the present and the possibilities of the future. We find ourselves on new ground, ready to walk forward into our goals and dreams.
Travel to Higher Ground
Nothing is unforgivable, and in this book, I want to encourage you to embrace the spirit of Unconditional Forgiveness. Forgiveness is a private process that we do for our own sakes, and there is no experience of hurt, loss, betrayal, or disappointment that is beyond our power to heal and resolve. When we forgive someone, we are saying that even though this experience of hurt (painful, difficult, unjust, abusive, and so on) has happened to us, we are going to completely release that pain and move forward without it. Even the most broken heart can be mended through forgiveness, and the steady practice of forgiveness throughout our lives will reframe for us the worst stories of our human journey. When we are wounded and suffering, an attitudinal choice lies right in front of us: will we feel and believe that we are victims of cruel fate, slogging through unrelenting and meaningless struggles? Or will we empower ourselves to take the opportunity to travel to higher ground, employing universal spiritual principles? In the hot laboratory of daily life, day by day and year by year — no matter how difficult it gets—each one of us has the power to transform our painful stories from those of a victim to those of a willing student of life. Like a master-in-training in a customized wisdom school, we can turn our wounds into wisdom as we complete each lesson of the graduate level course called Unconditional Forgiveness.
Changing lives for the better
Unconditional forgiveness is based on a model of health and well-being that is rooted in both modern transpersonal psychology and universal spiritual laws. The Eight Steps to Freedom is the method of unconditional forgiveness that reliably works to bring swift and permanent resolution of any painful emotional issue. These Eight Steps are effective because they arise out of a sound holistic understanding of how the psyche heals itself, as well as the timeless wisdom that tells us how to reestablish and maintain a sense of harmony with others and with the Universe. This is the same body of work that my teacher Dr. Edith Stauffer developed and taught as Unconditional Love and Forgiveness from 1970 to 1990, and that I inherited and refined from 1990 to the present day and have renamed the Eight Steps to Freedom. In the last forty years, this method of unconditional forgiveness has assisted thousands of people to release themselves from emotional pain and to change their lives for the better.
Pathway toward enlightenment
Unconditional forgiveness is a pathway toward enlightenment, if you will, which utilizes our difficult emotional human issues to teach us about our true nature as universal spiritual beings. In the necessary work of ending our painful suffering, we also transform our small, isolated sense of self by tapping into our connection with our Higher Self, and we give ourselves the gift of a solid and real relationship with this Divine Source. We discover that there is a great stream of love flowing to us from the heart of the Creator, and the blessings of life come steadily to us on that stream of love. In this way, our willingness and our discipline to forgive something that made us feel hurt and limited bring us through a doorway into a greater realm of trust, freedom, and love.
Definition of unconditional forgiveness
Let’s review again the simple working definitions of unconditional love, forgiveness, and unconditional forgiveness:
Unconditional love is an attitude of seeing the good in any person or situation. It is also a universal spiritual energy, a Divine Force that restores you to wholeness and freely extends itself to all beings without limits, expectations, conditions, or demands. It is a way of being that blesses and encourages all to thrive.
Forgiveness is an attitude of being willing to let go of unrealistic expectations of self and others. It is also a tool, the process by which this release is accomplished. And it is the experience of the release itself—the dissolving of a stagnant and painful block inside you, followed by the sense of new open “space” and an influx of fresh new energy.
Unconditional forgiveness is the profound and transformative experience of completely releasing any expectation that is causing us to suffer—forgiving everyone and every- thing. It restores us to our natural state of wholeness and happiness that is independent of what others have done or are presently doing.
The above material is an excerpt from the book Unconditional Forgiveness ©2011 Mary Hayes Grieco