We’ve all been hurt by someone at some point in life. Were you able to forgive the people who hurt you? Some people hold the belief that certain people and experiences are totally unforgivable, some hurts and violations run so deep that they are terribly difficult to… well, to forgive!
In writing this piece I was looking for synonyms of forgive and what came up included pardon, excuse and let off. This implies that if we forgive someone’s hurtful or even immoral behaviour, we are actually excusing and condoning it – and that is usually both untrue and puts people off the idea of forgiveness.
But the original meaning of forgive also includes ‘to let go’
Bearing that in mind, our perception of forgiveness may totally change. We can start to see forgiveness from an angle that serves us much better. We can start to see why forgiveness actually has less to do with the person we are forgiving, and more to do with US. We can start to see the gifts of forgiveness and realise that WE deserve those gifts.
Forgiveness doesn’t say:
- That you agree with or excuse what someone has done
- That they don’t need to be accountable for their actions
- That they can carry on treating you or others poorly
- That you aren’t hurt, or that it never happened
Forgiveness does say:
- That you let go of what has already happened
- That you prioritise you and your bright new future
- That you realise you and others deserve better than what has happened
- That you choose not to let unhealthy experiences and people pollute your mind, body and soul any longer
Forgiveness is giving away the experiences and people that no longer serve you
Forgiveness is a healthy act of self-care. It’s like weeding your garden in order to keep the garden healthy and flourishing. To not forgive, that is to not let go, would be to let the weeds keep growing.
Forgiveness is giving yourself a better future
Forgiveness is the realisation that you can stop looking back because you’re not going that way. It’s about putting more effort into inviting a new future than in replaying an old past.
Forgiveness is giving yourself peace
We all know how it feels to let go of a painful past. And we all know how it feels to hold on to it. Only one of these brings inner peace.
Forgiveness is giving yourself control
Past experiences, pains and people can control our lives until we let them go. Forgiveness is kicking them out of the driver’s seat and taking our rightful place behind the wheel.
Forgiveness is not easy…
We may be able to forgive the small stuff quite easily, but what about the big stuff? The real heinous acts that many people experience or witness?
Make no mistake that forgiveness especially in these situations is not easy, it may be a long journey that pulls on super human courage and inner strength. It will push a human to their greatest emotional, psychological and spiritual limits.
So whatever you are wanting to let go of, go easy on yourself. Be patient and self-compassionate, don’t dismiss your pain or bypassing your healing – always make space for this.
And when you are ready to let go, you’ll know.
“See, when you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you’ve got a little bitty rearview mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what's happened in your past is not near as important as what’s in your future.” – Joel Osteen
About the author: To learn more about Pinky Jangra, click here.
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