Heartfelt Living: Removing the Need To Forgive
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 As I wrote in a previous article, we can choose to live from our heart or from our head. Living from the ‘ego mindset’ as most everyone does, keeps us trapped in the mistaken notion that we are victims. If you are a victim, then there must be a perpetrator. If there is a perpetrator, then he/she/it most have done something to you.

 If you feel ‘hurt’ by someone or something, then you will hold it against the source of your ‘victim-ness’ for your pain. It seems to be the nature of humans to hold on to their pain and birth the feeling of resentment for it. When this happens the ‘victim’ may feel that the only way the event can be resolved is to forgive the cause of it; or not.

 There is a mistaken understanding of the concept of ‘forgiveness’ in the world. Wikipedia says: Forgiveness is the renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, disagreement, or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. Notice the word, ‘perceived’.

 While this idea of forgiveness points to someone or something outside of you, it fails to recognize that the whole notion comes from within you. Unless your mind perceives that you have been somehow made a victim, the notion of forgiveness could not take place.

 Is this the way you want to live? Do you want to always feel vulnerable to someone’s remark or action? Do you want to have to be ever mindful of every step you take such that nothing can harm you? Well most people on planet earth, do live this way. It is like having a weight tied to your ankle that you drag around, until after awhile you don’t even notice it.

 Wouldn’t it feel better to get out of bed each morning joyously welcoming the new day, and then going to bed at night thankful for such a wonderful day lived? Shedding ‘victim’ mentality opens a door that most don’t know is there. I gave up the victim thing years ago regarding people, but up until recently, have still hung on to being a ‘victim’ of things that just seem to happen in my life.

 As long as I lived in my head, my ego mind, I was letting it dictate my day by depending on my past experiences, my unconscious beliefs. As I move more into my heart-space, the ego mind is not noticed as much and I take control. My day becomes more heartfelt.

 As I have said many times in these articles, we are not victims; never have been, never will be. You could argue that those who have suffered from the affects of hurricane Sandy and other such events, are victims. While it most positively appears that way, I would suggest that there is a reason for everything, and while I cannot categorically state that there are not ‘victims’ involved, what I noted last night is that it, like other catastrophic events have brought people together. People all over the world are reaching out to help those who are feeling the effects of this powerful storm.

 The point of this example is that we are always at choice. How you choose to respond to anything is always up to you. Making a choice to look past what appears to be happening, to what is Real in your life will bring you joy instead of gloom. Many family members who have held resentment amongst them come together and help each other at the death of a loved one.

 Heartfelt living is about beginning each day in a place of peace and love regardless of what happens on the outside, and maintaining that feeling all day. It is about changing the captain of your ship from your head to your heart. The head is about thinking, the past, doing, differences, victims, and fear. The heart is about the present, just ‘being’, love, peace, and knowing who you truly are.

 ‘Letting go of the past’ is one of the most discussed actions of self-help articles and programs. Living in the present moment is another way of leaving the past behind. Unless you are watching a science fiction movie, you cannot physically go back to the past or into the future. The past is only in your mind or something you read about in books. Otherwise it does not exist.

 How do you move from ego mind living to heartfelt living? One step at a time. You must begin to shut down the ego mind’s control of your life. That is, stop complaining, judging, taking things personally, holding on to past ‘pains’, and letting go of attachments.

 Then you will be free to listen to your heart, because it is difficult to do so when your brain is chattering away continuously. You can begin letting go of the above belief system oriented negatives, and add in meditating while focusing on your heart.

 It takes time and effort to do the above, but if you don’t do it, your life will never change. You must know that there is something better than what you have been experiencing over the years. There is more joy, more happiness, more love and peace than you could have ever imagined possible in today’s world. Take the first step and you will see for yourself.


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