Forgiveness is a choice to release all that binds you to hurt and pain. It’s not a gift to those that hurt you, it’s an act of self-love to soothe the broken pieces of yourself.
When you don’t choose to forgive because you wish to punish others you also punish yourself in the process.
How long have you been punishing yourself just so that you can hold on to all that anger and resentment?
Furthermore, while you have been living with all of this anger and resentment, how has it impacted the lives of those that hurt you?
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison, but expecting the other person to dieBuddha
It’s you that deserves the forgiveness
Forgiveness is for our best interest, for the sake of our sanity, our peace, and our love.
The most important thing is healing yourself first, the grace that outpours from your healing and onto the others is just an added bonus.
You see everyone from religious leaders to spiritual teachers tell us that it’s best to forgive, many times they make the people who hurt you become the star of the show.
They say things like ‘’Show love to your enemies’’ or ‘’ forgive them, they are in much pain themselves’’.
Those statements might have truth to them, but I believe all humans have a certain amount of responsibility to themselves and their community.
The older you are the more you see and understand this world. Those who hurt us might have been hurt themselves and our enemies might need love instead of hate, but they too have a certain amount of responsibility to themselves. To love themselves and to behave in a society that doesn’t bring more hate and misery upon themselves.
Do we persist to let bad people do bad things to others and society because they need love and that they have been hurt? What would become of this world and our society?
Each and every person on this earth has their own free will to choose between love and peace or hate and misery.
Be warned that the price of freedom to choose comes with responsibility.
With all options, you have the right to use your own judgment to see which is best for you. Nobody stops you from using your own intellect and logic to do what you feel is best for you.
It’s all up to you now
This might be hard to hear for some, but the outcome of your happiness thus far in your life is the sum of all of the life choices you have made up until now.
No, I am not talking about things beyond your control. No one asks to get mistreated by others. You can’t control how others act and behave, but you can control your own thoughts, behaviors, and actions.
I am talking about your decisions to put yourself on the path of joy and happiness.
Many of us hold on tight to hurt and resentment like it’s a close friend.
Ask yourself what is holding you back from being free from the past?
How does it benefit you or those around you by holding on?
If you can relate to one or more of these areas, then you are still holding on to hurt, anger, and resentment:
- You have obsessive thoughts about them and the situation
- Friends and family are sick of hearing about this and them
- Negative emotions overcome you when hearing about them, or anything related to them
- Victimhood mentality – you want and need everyone to know that they are the bad guy
- You stalk their social media and investigate their private life
- You take delight in hearing bad things happening to them
- You cycle back and forth between sadness, hurt, and anger
- You are desperate to understand why they did this to you
- You have trouble sleeping because late nights thought keeps running in your mind
- You can’t even be in the same room as them
- You have thought about getting revenge or justice
What you can do to gain your power back over the situation:
- Take the focus off of them and put it back onto you. What you focus on you give power to.
- See what part you played in the situation.
- What wisdom can you gain from this experience?
- Cut them out of your life and energy space. (No more stalking them or their social media)
- Work on improving your mind, body, and spirit.
Steps to starting to forgiveness journey:
- It’s time to be truthful about your feelings. Sometimes we can be in denial about how much they really hurt us. It’s hard to admit that they were able to have such power over us.
- Just because they didn’t say sorry for what they did, doesn’t mean you have to get closure before you move on.
- Don’t harass them by phone bombing them with your emotions. Instead, write a letter to them, let it all out then either keep it or throw it out.
- Practice self-love and self-care. Stay away from negative things that could interfere with your healing process.
- Just because you are doing healing work and have neutralized negative emotions toward them, doesn’t mean you have to let them back into your space as an act of goodwill on your part. People must earn a spot in your life, especially if they have proven themselves not worthy by taking you for granted the first time.
Last words before I end this article
I know life is hard at times, we let people in who hurt us, we make mistakes, and sometimes hurt ourselves. Life is best experienced when you get to sample all of its fine flavors.
All of our experiences make us the unique and special people we are today. There is no one quite like you in this world. Your existence makes this world a more unique place to be, believe that.
Remember what I said earlier in the article. Every single one of us has a responsibility to ourselves and as a placeholder in humanity. Our choices can either bring us closer to happiness and joy or hate and misery.