If you’re like most people whenever you’ve been hurt, betrayed or violated someone somewhere told you to forgive. Funny thing though they never tell you exactly how you’re supposed to do that. Do you tell that person I forgive you, give them a hug and a smile and go on as if the pain does not exist? Or better yet do you wait for them to do it again and you go through the forgiving cycle one more time. And besides, just how exactly does forgiving help you?
All of us at some point in our lives face these questions. The effort of forgiveness can be for something as trivial as hurt feelings or it could be something with much higher ramifications. The common denominator is the same no matter who the injured party is. YOU. And you’re the most important equation that you must forgive. How?
Letting it go. I know that’s a very simplistic answer to a very complex subject. There are instances in which the act of forgiveness is extremely easy, but in other cases it requires you to dig deep within in order to accomplish it. This is the type of forgiveness we’re dealing with today. The kind that requires you to acknowledge and accept past transgressions in order to learn, thrive and move forward. For those of you who have suffered the indignities of domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault this step will be a lifeline to propel you forward so that you are not defined by the circumstances of your past.
“Forgiveness is choosing to love. It is the first skill of self-giving love.”
This is a great explanation for by forgiving you are opening the door to love and the most important person requiring forgiveness is…. not the person who did the wrong, oh no that gift, that beautiful jewel belongs to you. Forgiveness is more for you than the other person because it is ourselves we have the hardest time forgiving. Sure many may argue that no the person that wronged me, that’s the hardest to forgive and I just can’t do it! Okay so how long will you allow another person to have control of you and they are no longer in your life? I ask this question and want you to think about this. That person, male or female, family member, sister, brother, husband, wife, lover, friend or any ex.. is sleeping soundly every night and going about their daily lives giving no thought for your plight but because you refuse to forgive they are still in the driver’s seat of your life! Get the picture, so how’s that working for you? Understand this:
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”
“People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what’s bitter and move on.”
– Bill Cosby
Today I challenge you to take a pen to paper and write a heartfelt letter to yourself. In it lay it all out there, forgive yourself for the choices you made, forgive yourself for loving someone who didn’t love you and therefore mistreated you. Forgive yourself for holding on when you know in your heart you should have let go. Forgive yourself for having more faith and trust in someone else than you did in yourself. Forgive your self for allowing another human being to define you. Be specific in this letter to you and leave nothing out.
Finally once you’ve told your self all the things you’ve forgiven you for, list those persons you need to forgive so that you can make room in your heart, spirit, mind and soul for the new treasures and jewels waiting to reside in the space once occupied by unforgiveness. Now take that letter read it, own it and accept it, now rip it to shreds and burn it while at the same time rejoicing that there’s a new spring in your step, a beautiful song in your heart and great anticipation for a journey that will take you to greater heights you never dreamed could be yours.
Happy journeying my friend for just around the corner are many gifts waiting to assail you and as you encounter each one partake of them with a hearty appetite for more juicy morsels are still waiting to entice you. Now go out there and share this new confident person with the world ,after all, you’ve made it through the storm and though this walk called life will at times assault you with its unpredictability stand tall knowing you’ve learned to not hold on to the bad because holding on means you could miss something beautiful.