I’ve spoken about the power of forgiveness before and given techniques to facilitate that, but what exactly is forgiveness?
The dictionary defines forgiveness as “ceasing to feel resentment against.”
The Greater Good website says more specifically that it is, “a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve it.”
So given those two, very similar definitions, you can see why it’s such a powerful force.
A “conscious” act- it is a choice. A choice to release the past and move forward. And what does that do? It frees you up. It allows movement where previously there was stagnation or stuck energy. Where previously there was dark, the light can now enter. Where you were once a prisoner, you now have wings.
I will also add that it’s not just about resentments, sometimes it’s about “mistakes,” regrets, angers- anything you are holding onto and not releasing; towards yourself or others.
So why don’t we do it more often?
Well, sometimes we’re not aware that something needs forgiving; we just know we feel stuck. Other times, we hold those resentments etc. close to our hearts as protection against future pain or as the righteous indignation that “They did this to me and I am not letting them off the hook!” Ahhh, but who is really on the hook? Them? Think again.
That righteous anger may feel good, but where will it get you? Remember would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy? Sure, you can keep holding them accountable, and thereby making yourself the victim in your life. The danger there is believing your victim story, which then renders you to feeling powerless, and wallowing in self-pity or rage. Can love enter into those spaces? No it cannot.
If you say you want love and healing, you need to be willing to release those old places of refuge. Self-pity, victim, martyr, blame- they can feel like old friends, “Hey I know you!” To release them takes courage. To say, “I’ve hidden behind my blame because I’m afraid to truly let love in. I’m afraid it’ll hurt.” That’s step one: recognition and acknowledgement of your part.
Next step: choice; do I really need this? What purpose is it serving? Is it allowing, or preventing happiness and am I really ready to let this go? Once you answer those questions, then you make that choice. “Yes, I choose to release these resentments, or this pain, or this slight, etc.”
Final step: forgiveness. “I choose to release, I choose to be free. I am holding others accountable under the faulty pretense that they are holding me back but really, it’s me. I choose forgiveness.”
Remember, you can’t change what you won’t own within yourself. You need to take responsibility for everything in your life because it’s YOUR life! There is no they, there is only you. So give yourself the gift of freedom regardless of what’s going on with them and set yourself free. Forgive: everyone and everything, and especially yourself for allowing it on some level, even if it’s deeply unconscious.
The world is changing fast right now; give yourself the gift of forgiveness to step more fully into your greatest, actualized self.
(For further information and techniques about working with forgiveness, go to my blogs from September 26th, 2018, or January 16th, 2019)
Me, just sharing ways to make you the best you can be!