“Forgiveness is an act of caring for one’s own self.”
Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another at some point in time. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness and even vengeance — but if you don’t practice forgiveness, you may be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy.
Forgiveness is letting go of grudges and bitterness and setting your mind and heart free from the past occurrence.
When you need to forgive someone and you are struggling with your own self, always remember forgiveness can be challenging. It may be particularly hard to forgive someone who doesn’t admit wrong or doesn’t speak of his or her sorrow. If you find yourself stuck, it may help to write in a diary, pray or use guided meditation. You may want to talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate, a counselor or an unbiased family member or friend. You may also want to reflect on times you’ve hurt others and on those who’ve forgiven you. Keep in mind that forgiveness has the potential to increase your sense of integrity, peace and overall well-being.
If the hurtful event involved someone whose relationship you otherwise value, forgiveness may lead to reconciliation. This isn’t always the case, however. Reconciliation may be impossible if the offender has died or is unwilling to communicate with you. In other cases, reconciliation may not be appropriate, especially if you were attacked or assaulted. But even in those cases, forgiveness is still possible — even if reconciliation isn’t.
If you haven’t reached a state of forgiveness, being near the person who hurt you may be tense and stressful. To handle these situations, remember that you have a choice whether or not to attend specific functions and gatherings. Respect yourself and do what seems best. If you choose to attend, don’t be surprised by a certain amount of awkwardness and perhaps even more intense feelings. Do your best to keep an open heart and mind. You may find that the gathering helps you to move forward with forgiveness.
Always remember, getting another person to change his or her actions, behavior or words isn’t the point of forgiveness. Think of forgiveness more about how it can change your life — by bringing you more peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness takes away the power the other person continues to exert in your life.
If you are the one who needs forgiveness, consider admitting the wrong you’ve done to those you’ve harmed, speaking of your sincere sorrow or regret, and specifically asking for forgiveness — without making excuses. Remember, however, you can’t force someone to forgive you. Others need to move to forgiveness in their own time. Simply acknowledge your faults and admit your mistakes. Then commit to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect.
In my simple view, forgiveness is an act of caring for one’s own self. When you’ve been hurt by someone, it can take an almost superhuman effort to move forward. But by dwelling on that past event, you’ll be surrendering and giving you’re your serenity and peace of mind. This is not a wise thing to do. Forgiveness is completely a selfish act, it sets you free from the past!!!
Of course, we want to others to embrace accountability and repentance, but we can’t make that happen. And if amends aren’t forthcoming, it’s best for us to move on and shake the dust off from your feet.
The greatest misconception about forgiveness is the belief that forgiving the offense, such as an affair, means that you condone it. Not true. In fact, we can only forgive what we know to be wrong. Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile with someone who badly treated you.
Another misconception is that it depends on whether the person who did you wrong apologizes, wants you back, or changes his or her ways. If another person’s poor behavior were the primary determinant for your healing then the unkind and selfish people in your life would retain power over you indefinitely. Forgiveness is the experience of finding peace inside and can neither be compelled nor stopped by another.
To withhold forgiveness is to choose to continue to remain the victim. When you forgive you do it for you, not for the other. The person you have never forgiven . . . owns you! How about an affair? Just because you choose to forgive, does not mean you have to stay in the relationship. That is only and always your choice.
When you feel that forgiveness is necessary, do not forgive for “their” sake. Do it for yourself! It would be great if they would come to you and ask forgiveness but you must accept the fact that some people will never do that. That is their choice. They do not NEED to be forgiven. They did what they did and that is it – except for the consequences, which THEY must live with.
The hurts won’t heal until you forgive! Recovery from wrongdoing that produces genuine forgiveness takes time. For some, it may take years. Don’t rush it. Constantly reliving your wounded feelings gives the person who caused you pain power over you. Instead of mentally replaying your hurt, it helps to focus your energy on the healing, not the hurt!
Compassion is one of the key ingredients of forgiveness. Learn to look for and appreciate the love, beauty and kindness around you. It’s there, and you may have to change your thinking and behavior to discover it. To have compassion for others, you must first have compassion for yourself.
HEALTHY love relationships are not possible without forgiveness! You cannot have a loving and rewarding relationship with anyone else, much less yourself, if you continue to hold on to things that happened in the past. Regardless of the situation, making peace with past love partners, your parents, children, your boss or anyone who you think may have “done you wrong” is the only way to improve your chances of a “healthy” relationship with yourself or anyone else for that matter!
It is not possible to truly be present and available to a new relationship until you heal the hurt and upsets of the past.
Forgiving someone else is to agree within yourself to overlook the wrong they have committed against you and to move on with your life. Just neglect, it’s the only way.
Begin again! It is truly impossible to start new and to make clear, healthy, life-giving choices until we have let go of past hurts, confusion and resentments. Old wounds have a drawing power and pull our attention to them over and over, taking energy and hope from us, preventing us from starting again. Old wounds raise fearful specters of the same thing happening again in the future. For this reason it is so important to spend time understanding the true nature of forgiveness, and what it really entails.
To forgive means to “give up”, to let go. It also means to restore oneself to basic goodness and health. When we forgive, we are willing to give up resentment, revenge and obsession. We are willing to restore faith not only in ourselves, but in life itself. The inability or unwillingness to do this causes harm in the one who is holding onto the anger.
Paru Krishnakant “Piyuni”
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