Have you ever been hurt? Have you ever been treated unfairly? Do you continue to feel the pain from something that happened long ago? How could we not? We’re all human, making mistakes, learning, finding our way. And yet you may simply think someone doesn’t deserve to be forgiven or someone has done something unforgivable. However, if you don’t forgive, you are holding onto anger, pain, resentment. You carry that around and the only person this hurts is you.
What Forgiveness Is Not. Some people don’t forgive, because they equate forgiving for condoning what happened. And yet forgiving someone is not saying what they did is ok. It doesn’t mean you forget and go back to a situation that is harmful or abusive. Forgiveness is not about denying responsibility.
What Forgiveness Is. When you forgive, you give yourself a gift. You liberate yourself. Forgiveness releases you from the burden of holding on to hurt from the past, the burden of carrying around anger and past pain. You free up your own energy so you can be present to life now, to joy. You make space for more happiness, for peace of mind, for a more prosperous life.
Forgiveness acknowledges what happened, how it made you feel, how it still makes you feel and allows you to find the gift in the trauma by learning from what happened. It is a choice to remember that everyone is human, makes mistakes and is doing the best they can with what they know at the time. Forgiving may mean seeing that hurt people hurt people. People often end up doing what was done to them earlier in their lives. Forgiving is accepting people where they are, letting go of any desire to fix or change them, trusting they are right where they need to be… trusting you are right where you need to be. Forgiving is being compassionate, opening your heart, letting go and moving on with your life.
How You Hurt Yourself By Not Forgiving. By not forgiving, you hurt yourself. All that anger, pain, resentment stays in your system and poisons your life. It can consume you and get in the way of you being present and experiencing the good you deserve in your life. It can lead to feeling depressed and anxious. I think a lot of the depression and anxiety I experienced over the decades stems from a lack of forgiveness for things that initially happened when I was young. [Read more…]