What is forgiveness? Depending on who you ask, it can mean many different things. What I do know for sure, is that forgiveness is a gift that you give yourself.
What happens when we are wronged by someone? If we are operating from ego, we may stew in anger, take out our feelings of being wronged by others, or maybe we play the victim role and use it as an excuse for things that are not going right in our lives. Without forgiveness, we live the rest of our lives reacting and replaying what went before; however, that won’t serve us or bring us peace.
Forgiveness is the way to break out of these negative cycles. Most people think that forgiveness is pardoning the other of their wrongdoing. In reality, forgiveness is the act of releasing our negative energy toward the other – not for their sake, but for ours. Think how freeing it would be to move forward in our lives without carrying around all that negative energy.
Once we’ve made the conscious decision to forgive another, there is another important step we should take. That step is to forget. Many say that we should “forgive but not forget,” but we should challenge ourselves to forget also. When we do not forget, we are keeping ourselves in a state of suffering. The more valuable thing we can do is to remember the lesson we’ve learned from this experience.
Here is a practical tip to forgiving others:
- Take pen to paper and write down all the things the person has done to wrong you.
- Read over your list.
- Destroy the list, such as shredding it.
- Say to yourself, “__________ (this person) did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. I now forgive them and go free.”
- You can repeat this for each of the people that have hurt you.
Sometimes it also necessary to forgive ourselves. We can sometimes judge ourselves and believe that we are not worthy of happiness, love, and joy. This is why it is as important to forgive ourselves as we forgive others. Remember, we are all worthy of the good in life.
How is forgiving ourselves a gift? It’s a gift because we can now live our lives without the negative energy that comes from unforgiven pain. This is just unnecessary suffering. Through forgiveness, we will set ourselves free to live a much happier life. Who do you have to forgive?
Peace and happiness to all!