Forgiving someone is often a challenging and painful concept for most people. The idea of forgiving a person who may have hurt you deeply, disrespected you, been rude, insensitive or had a hugely negatively impact on you through their words and actions can often feel like an impossibility.
I know it did for me and for many years, I struggled and suffered as a result. But it is what we MUST do, if we desire peace of mind and to live free from the weight of anger, resentment and bitterness.
What I learned after many years of un-forgiveness is:
1. The ONLY person affected was ME. That truth hit me like a ton of bricks.
The people I’d been angry with had no idea, no clue how much their actions and words affected me, and my life.
2. I learned I’d GIVEN my POWER AWAY and I was the one suffering and feeling powerless.
3. I learned that FORGIVING DID NOT mean CONDONING the behaviour. It meant I could finally let go of all that I was holding onto and allow myself to be free. And that felt AMAZING.
4. I learned importantly that forgiving does not mean I had to suppress my feelings, it meant that I had to look beyond the mistakes, the hurt, the actions, the words, the lack of thought and begin to see through a different perspective.
One that began to understand why they were the way they were. How their experiences had shaped them. How often they didn’t realise what impact they had, so how could they ever be sorry? I began to step into their shoes and take a walk. That walk showed me the way to wisdom.
5. I learned to forgive daily, to judge less, to understand more. Sometimes it’s tough and I don’t do it. I forget, I get caught up in the moment and my ego gets in the way. It’s usually not great when that happens. I’m upset, the other person is.
Forgiveness IS ultimately a DAILY habit, one to get in to and familiar with. Often the small upsets become large without you noticing. The rude bus driver, the unfriendly waitress, the friend you feel let you down, the list is endless each day for how often your peace of mind is upset.
When I eventually forgave the people and the upsets (big and small), I finally found the peace I’d been seeking. Forgiveness is like a magic potion. Once consumed, peace consumes you.
So you may ask how do you forgive. Here’s how.
Step 1. Write down all the people that may have upset you and that you hold any negative emotions, bitterness and resentment towards. Think parents, siblings, other family, ex partners, current partners, teachers, friends, people you work with or did etc…
Step 2. BE OPEN to the willingness to forgive. If you feel like you could never forgive someone, ask for or pray for the ability to be open to forgive.
Step 3. Say a simple prayer, or words that feel right. Ask to see (name) differently. Say you are willing to see (name) in a different light.
Step 4. Then say or write down or both, I forgive (name) and I release you to for example to God. Say whoever or whatever feels right for you.
Step 5. Send or wish (name) love, healing, peace whatever you feel like here. This can be very hard to even comprehend in some instances and a big part of you will resist and fight it.
What is crucial to understand at this point is:
What is worse?
Spending the rest of your life angry, filled with toxic energy and emotions or beginning the journey and process to finding your own inner peace one day, one step at a time? That is ultimately the choice you have.
Step 6. Forgive yourself. For anything you may have done, not done, said or not said. Write down whatever you can think you of and begin. Forgiving yourself starts the process of accepting yourself, all parts, all experiences, all lessons.
A few quotes to finish and I wish YOU a peace filled week.
Ghana said: "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
Maya Angelou said: "Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself."
Leo Tolstoy said: "Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace."
Marianne Williamson said: "The practice of forgiveness is the most important contribution to the healing of the world."
I’d love to hear any comments you may have and please share with friends who may like this post!