Forgiveness. What a powerful yet terrifying word. Forgiving someone is one of the hardest things to do, yet it is the most rewarding. This also, means, that we have to step out of our comfort zone. Forgiveness is by far the most misunderstood act of kindness. Because, forgiveness has nothing to do with forgiving the person who hurt us, but rather giving ourselves the permission to let that grudge or negative emotion go. So really, forgiveness is a way for us to heal an emotional wound we chose to keep. And by keeping this wound, it festered and poisoned our mind sometimes for many years.
I am sure we all have that one person in our lives who just yank our chains, who drives us crazy. Most of the time that person in question doesn’t even know what they do to us. They are probably painfully unaware of how their actions affect others. And sadly, those are the people you will never receive a heartfelt apology from. So how can we forgive someone like that and move on?
First, we have to acknowledge that we are holding a grudge. We are – not them! We are hoping for an apology that will never come and that makes us even more upset because we know that justice will never be done. So the first step would be to observe our own emotions. How do we feel, when we think about that person; how do we feel when we see that person. Then we need to realize that these are our feelings… not theirs.
Forgiveness does not mean that we have to confront the person in question and tell them that we forgive them. Forgiveness means allowing ourselves to let go of that grudge. Forgiveness means to accept that this person will never live up to our expectations. Forgiveness means freeing ourselves from that toxic bond we share with that person and set them free. Forgiveness means not holding ourselves hostage anymore over a person who simply is not worth our mental and emotional energy. So when we are ready to let go of that negativity for our own sake, we are basically giving ourselves permission to let that person leave our mind and with that strip that person of the power they have over us.
But forgiveness is not just for holding grudges. The same is true for any emotional trauma. Throughout my childhood and young adult life, I have been sexually assaulted on numerous occasions. For the longest time I could not let go of the hate I felt towards those men. But at some point, I realized that I was hurting myself by forcing myself to keep on hating these men. These men probably had already forgotten all about me, so why shouldn’t I forget about them? And so I allowed myself to let go of the pain I felt and that moment changed my life in so many ways!
Why is it so important to forgive? Holding grudges, being angry or hurt creates an emotional blockage within us and the more we think about that person, the bigger this blockage becomes. First of all, this causes us to be unbalanced, which leads to agitation, grumpiness and just a general feeling…