Forgive or forgiveness. We all find ourselves in situations where we are called to forgive others. Forgive or forgiveness is defined as “to give up resentment against or to stop wanting to punish (someone) for an offense or fault.” Do you ever find yourself carrying around anger or hurt because of the actions of family, friends or loved ones? I have.
Thinking back over my life, there are many times I’ve been hurt or angry because of something that someone has said or done that has hurt me or made me feel bad. In many of these instances (or most of them) I have thought that the act to forgive or the act of forgiveness would be something I would do for that person, a gift to them. Forgiving them for that hurt, anger or suffering.
If there was something I could tell my younger self it would be that things aren’t so black and white. People mess up, including me, none of us are perfect. Every transgression or perceived hurt is not fatal. Harboring resentment, anger and hurt are living in the past.
Forgiving Who Benefits?
In retrospect, and through some self and the development I realized that the act of forgiving someone else isn’t a gift to them. Forgiveness is a gift to myself. Carrying around a bunch of hurt and resentment for an act that the perpetrator may not even be aware of doesn’t hurt anyone but me (or you). Anger and hurt takes up space in your head and heart. The act of forgiving or letting go releases that space for positive thoughts and emotions.
What Forgiveness is and What it is not
While every one has different situations that they need to forgive, practicing forgiveness is basically the same. Please don’t think it’s my intent to over simplify. There are some acts like abuse and infidelity that may take a great deal more work to get to the point of forgiveness. You will benefit far more from forgiveness than the person that is receiving your forgiveness. I think it’s also important to know that the perpetrator never even needs to know. This is all about you. Your thoughts, your feelings, your life.
Forgiveness in itself does not mean reconciliation. It doesn’t mean allowing someone who doesn’t deserve your trust back into your life. Forgiveness in the context I’m talking about is letting go of the resentment.
Evicting the hurt and anger from your thoughts to free yourself and move forward. The person that hurt you never even needs to know you have chosen to forgive. This is all about you, your thoughts evicting whatever happened from your head, your heart and your life.
How do you forgive?
Examine your feelings. Take stock of your feelings and recognize them. Accept that you may never know why something happened.
Reflect on the situation. Try to see things from the other person’s perspective and also evaluate how you reacted or responded to the situation.
Live in the present. Realize that whatever happened is in the past. You don’t need to know the why to move forward. Realize that whatever the action, it happened in the past. Don’t let the event affect your future. Make a conscious decision to live in the present. Move forward. Don’t allow events that happened in the past to create or define your future.
Be firm in your resolve. When your subconscious presents an opportunity to relive the anger, hurt and resentment, shut it down.
It’s my hope that these words help you to recognize that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. An opportunity to let go of anger, hurt and resentment and move forward. An opportunity to make space in your head and your heart for positive thoughts and feelings. It’s not always easy. Learning to recognize your feelings and evict hurt, anger and resentment before they need an eviction notice is a sure way to a happier and healthier today.
If you have followed my blog you may have seen my posts for the A-Z Challenge in April. Due to unforeseen events, I was unable to complete the challenge. I really enjoyed the challenge and the process of creating posts around creating a more positive life though your thoughts and will be posting the remaining letters in the coming weeks.
For other posts in the A-Z Challenge check out these links
26 Days to a Better Life – Change Your Attitude
26 Days to a Better Life E is for Effort
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