Forgiveness is huge thing to many people, they think that forgiving someone is a loss of personal power. However nothing could be further from the truth. Forgiveness is not about making the other person feel better. It is about letting go of all the negative thoughts, feelings and emotions you hold toward that someone, and empowering yourself and your future.
It is about letting go of the anger, resentment, blame, hatred that is constantly affecting your life because of this action, or actions in the past. Whether we can see it or not, holding onto these feelings inside us affect us in massive ways. They spill out into other areas of our lives and can drastically affect our mood, our perception of meeting new people, and how we react to old and new situations. The primary function of forgiveness is to free yourself of the past and look to the future with peace knowing that no one is holding you back.
We all have people in our past that have wronged us. Maybe some of us have a lifetime of being wronged. Or of doing wrong! We aren’t in control of the past now, nothing, no matter how hard we may try, can change what has happened to us or what we have done. The only power we have right now is to look to the future and see how our lives WANT to be. To be at peace, and to be able to move on, there are three things we need to do.
- Forgive others
- Seek forgiveness from others
- Forgive yourself (The most important of all)
Forgiving others is essential for your future, living in peace and happiness. The amount of times i have come across people who refuse to forgive their family and their friends and the people who have wronged them in the past. They say “I can never forgive them, you don’t know what it was like” Or “I won’t give them that satisfaction”. It can be one of the hardest things you can ever do, but it is worth it for the betterment of your life.
You don’t necessarily have to have contact with the person you are forgiving. Remember you are forgiving them for yourself not for them. You can imagine them in front of you and tell them you forgive them. You can explain in detail or just put it simply. This is more powerful than you know, as it lets go of the negative feelings you have towards that person inside yourself, no matter where they are (on the other side of world, alive or dead). You can repeat this a few times if you like making sure to FEEL the forgiveness inside. Or If you feel compelled write them a letter. Sending it doesn’t matter, it is the action that matters.
I do want to just make a point here, that forgiveness does not necessarily mean welcoming back that person into your life. The person may still be the same person that caused you pain in the past. There is a huge difference between forgiving someone who has wronged you in past, (you forgive them to better your future). Than the people that continue to wrong you and you let them. They have to be taken out of your life. But that will be covered in “staying true to yourself”
Asking for forgiveness from others is an important part of moving on from your past. I personally, although was bullied in school, found myself being unnecessarily unkind to some other peers. When ever i have seen them since i have apologised for my behaviour because it never sat right with me. No matter what the outcome that fact that i asked is the important bit, because their reaction to forgive or not is not down to me but a reflection of where they may be in their life. This brings me on to the final and most important point.
Forgiving yourself is the hardest part of all this. Forgiving yourself for what you have done, who you were when it happened and what the repercussions were. Following asking the forgiveness of others, (whatever their answer) it is then down to you, and only you to forgive yourself. If you are truly remorseful and have learnt from your mistakes then letting go of the past is one of the most essential things we can do for ourselves.
I don’t know about you, but my mind plays me flash backs of the past and all the stupid things i had done. It has done this since my teen years (where the stupidness started). It makes me cringe! After a while of this happening i began to really find it annoying! I questioned why, why is this happening to me all the time. I don’t ask to be reminded of all the stupid embarrassing stuff i have done, it just happens. I found out after lots of reading and research, that we all have so called programs running in our minds at all times. They are there to “protect” us from what has happened in the past. They do this by reminding us how much of a idiot we were so it doesn’t happen again.
Here comes the tricky bit, at first i was ashamed when my memories got played back to me, this happened for years. Then i moved onto annoyance. Then after reading and more of my journey i realised that like it or not this was part of who i was in the past. The key was i realised i was no longer that person, that my mind was telling me to be aware of. So after a while i moved on to non judgment and acceptance.
Believe me it was hard at times and i didn’t succeed every time a memory came up. But i began to say this line to myself “Thank you for sharing that, i forgive myself” I wasn’t reacting in shame or guilt, or annoyance. It was accepting that past and bringing to realisation that that it wasn’t me anymore. Now after a few years of practicing this it doesn’t happen at all. The key is not being Judgmental of these memories just accepting they happened but making sure you state to yourself you don’t want to be affected by them.
I forgave myself for who i was and now my past doesn’t affect my present. It was a massive step for me as i really punished myself at the beginning. It also gave more solid proof that i created my reality by actively conditioning my mind.
I hope if you read this and want to start a journey of your own that my insights help speed along the process for you.
“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it”
“Forgiveness doesn’t mean you excuse the crime, it means you’re no longer willing to be the victim”