Forgiveness is powerful and like all seemingly simple things we can do, it can be one of the most challenging.
To forgive ourselves and to forgive others frees us from the prison of living in the past and signals our subconscious that it’s ok to move on and look to the future.
Recently, I was on a trip to a country I had never visited before. As I’m taking in the sights and sounds and appreciating the experience, I was also witness to compassion and forgiveness that was occurring between large groups of people.
These people have been fighting one another, figuratively, politically or in actual physical combat or war for centuries. These wars have been waging for the same reasons that we experience conflict on an individual level.
Just like these societies have been engaging in war for ages, we ourselves can get stuck in an unforgiving state. Many of us carry unnecessary grudges for years and years. This is living in a state of egoistic self-righteousness. We want so badly to be right but we never get to be happy at the same time.
Is it really worth it?
When something that we consider unforgivable happens, when someone does something to us that hurts us and we’re unwilling to forgive them, we are only poisoning ourselves.
Like swallowing a tablespoon of poison, we are feeding the toxicity within our body when we hold on to grudges. These toxins accumulate over time and eventually harms us mentally, emotionally and also physically.
One of the biggest lessons we can learn when it comes to forgiveness is to step back and look at things from a different perspective. It may take you some time to get to this point and that’s ok. The important thing is to begin to open your heart and be receptive to forgiving.
When you’re not forgiving, your heart is closed off.
When you practice forgiveness, you’re opening your heart for compassion and love with one another.
In order to forgive someone or a situation, you first have to realize that everyone is doing the best they can at the moment. They are working within the knowledge, experience, understanding, and awareness that they are living in at that moment in time.
Does that give people permission to mistreat other people or resort to violence? Of course not. But, for our own spiritual growth, we must be aware that these people who are doing hurtful or deceitful things are in pain themselves. They are not aware of what they are doing or considering the impact of their actions.
By holding on to a situation that happened years ago (or even months or weeks or days ago), you are energetically holding yourself in that same pattern and you’re not able to be free. In order to come out of that, step into that situation with a new perspective and ask yourself why you want to hold onto the energy of that specific situation.
Forgiveness and letting go allows you to move on from that energy and create more joyful and fulfilling experiences in your life, both personally and professionally.
Over the years, I’ve worked with business owners and executives who struggled with reaching their goals and achieving the milestones that spelled out success for them. These people were talented, experienced and had all the potential in the world but success was always just out of their reach. Why? They were holding on to grudges, sometimes from years ago, and living with that energy.
In order to succeed and fulfill your goals, make the choice to raise your awareness level that only allows loving experiences. Allowing yourself to forgive the past is the key to moving forward.
Sometimes we think we want to get even.
The satisfaction of revenge is short-lived because what we give out always comes back to you in one way or another. If you are putting out the energy of vindictiveness into the world, you’re only inviting more of that energy into your life.
When you treat other people well and treat yourself well, you become the living essence of who you are and who you’re meant to be. You experience life the way it was meant to be experienced.
If forgiveness is a struggle for you and you’re living in resentment, look at what it is you’re holding on to and ask yourself why. What purpose does it serve you to hold on to whatever event or hurt or wrong-doing? What is that holding you back from?
What is true forgiveness?
Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we have the option to forgive but also the option to hold grudges and not move on. When you hold onto negative emotions or resentment, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You also suffer in this process because all of your energy gets wasted on holding on to whatever it is that makes you resentful. You are unable to enjoy life fully because your mind is distracted by petty matters and your energy that could be spent on productive positive things is gone to waste.
When you forgive, it’s like letting go of the poison and moving on. You can appreciate your life without dwelling in resentment because you are not carrying around that negative energy anymore. It is beneficial for yourself to let go of this baggage so that you can be free from all of these negatives feelings or grudges inside of yourself so that you may focus your time and energy more profitably.
Perpetual resentment is not healthy for your body, mind or spirit. You are always dwelling on the wrongs that anyone has done to you and it eats away at you every day of your life causing stress to your psyche. If this sounds like something familiar in your own personal situation, do yourself a favor by forgiving them so that you can move forward with having peace and love for yourself and others. There is no need to waste time with anger or sadness anymore because all of this negative energy isn’t doing anything good for you anyway.
By forgiving those who have hurt you, it will be as if a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders allowing you to live in the present moment rather than fantasizing about the demise of those who have inconvenienced you.
What are the benefits of forgiving someone?
- Healthier relationships.
- Improved mental health.
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Fewer symptoms of depression.
- A stronger immune system.
- Improved heart health.
- Improved self-esteem.
- A stronger spiritual connection
Forgiveness in itself is really more like just letting go and choosing not to look back. Forgiving someone does not mean that they are excused from what happened, but it means that you have accepted that this person has done you wrong and it is okay to move on without them in your life.
True forgiveness means looking past the hurtful action someone committed because you’ve realized they weren’t thinking or just didn’t know any better when they did what they did, but also understanding why they thought what they were doing was okay even though it wasn’t. sometimes it’s better to let things fly because you can’t change the past, but your future is not set in stone and neither is theirs.
When people forgive others they are oftentimes really forgiving themselves for all of the hard feelings that come with harboring unforgiveness toward someone else.
One last thought: As you begin to forgive yourself first, it is much easier to forgive others.
If you need any help with forgiveness and are struggling with resentment, contact me here. I would be happy to help you move past it so you can focus on the future and what it has in store for you.