“Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.”
We have been through it before on some level. Hurt and deceived by people in the world around us. From the little things like having a prank played on you or someone stealing your last chocolate to the more serious things like a parent who abandons you, a lover who crushes your heart or a stranger who harms you.
When we were younger, we were taught to forgive (or maybe not, I don’t know your life). Forgive others for their misdeeds because it is the right thing to do. So we do it for a long while into our lives until something more serious happens and suddenly to be asked to forgive is like being asked to move a mountain with your bare hands.
In some instances, forgiveness cannot even belong in your vocabulary based on what this person did you. They caused you pain, suffering, heart ache, tears, sleepless nights and more. To forgive them for they did seems absolutely ludicrous.
How can I forgive them for what they did? I suffered so much and they walk away into the sunset without a second glance. I can’t just…let them off the hook for what they did to me. I can’t simply say what they did was ALRIGHT and simply forgive them for what they did. That is not justice. That is not fair to me! I deserve better and forgiving them just makes me weaker because I just allow them to do whatever they want to me and I say ‘it’s totally fine, you’re forgiven’. F*** THAT!!!
If this sounds familiar then welcome to my own thoughts.
How could I JUST forgive?
People tell me:
‘Forgiveness is the only way let go and move on to the future’
But I couldn’t do it. Every time I thought about the scenario, it just made me more furious. It was so imbalanced. They hurt me and I must just say ‘okay, it’s fine’. It made me so livid. I could never forgive. I could forget for sure. Anybody can forget. As time marches on, we create new memories and experiences and forgetting becomes easier. In fact, some might argue that forgetting is better than forgiving. By forgetting, you don’t need to do anything. You simply wait it out until you are ready to live life fully again. Leave forgiveness for God and the saints among us. We are simply human. Forgiveness is greater than what I am capable of.
And while I don’t believe that idea is terrible, it does have some downsides.
While we may forget and be able to eventually move on to the next stage of our life, the fact remains that that person who we cannot forgive still remains in our heart and mind. They may not be at the forefront, but they are there somewhere. They will always be there in our hearts pulling those strings that cause you a tinge of pain. And they keep you a victim to that story. A story where you were hurt by them. And you never forgave them because of the perceived cruelty of their actions. With this, it may affect our future life in ways that you may not realize. It creates false pattern matches with new people we meet. We may believe that new people in our life may do the same thing that this person did because some things remind you of them. You may be so cautious and cut off so many different parts in your life because those things remind you of the scenario in which the person hurt you.
Needless to say…you will always remain the victim. You will always be weighed down by that. You will always have to carry that burden with you as if it is your story and you are connected to it. You adapt your life to the story in your mind and that always makes you the victim.
But we are not our story. We cannot live in the past or the future as human beings. Only the present moment.
“A life lived without forgiveness is a life lived in the past.”
Besides…in my experience I’ve come to believe that:
“Time does not heal all wounds…time IS the wounds…and the only thing that heals these wounds are love and forgiveness”.
Forgiveness….is the only solution to let go of the past and it allows you to become the hero of your story and allow it to come to a positive conclusion.
By choosing to forgive, you show your strength and of course people never realize how strong they are until they are forced to be.
In order to forgive we need to employ this strategy:
Put yourself into their shoes
I believe Eckart Tolle said something along the lines of, ‘if their past was your past, if their pain was your pain and your level of consciousness was their level of consciousness, then you would think and act in exactly the same way that they do.’
We may live in one universe, but in this universe there are many worlds. Everyone is living in his or her own world with their own set of ideals, values, moral compass, cultures, beliefs and level of consciousness based on their upbringing and the environment around them.
We suffer when we project our expectations, morals, values etc. onto them while they are living in a DIFFERENT WORLD to us. We can never understand the things that has happened in their life that may have lead them to the point to hurt you and honestly, we DON’T need to know. Just remember that hurt PEOPLE….HURT people.
At the end of the day, we are all looking for the same thing…HAPPINESS. Everybody is doing the best they can to get there. Even the people who hurt you. But it is their thoughts about getting to that happiness that has been deluded in their way of life and now they create more suffering in the world than actual happiness.
Forgiveness…is not about THE OTHER PERSON. Forgiveness is NOT about justifying their actions. It is NOT saying that what they did is ‘okay’. It is NOT about letting them off the hook. It is NOT about letting them back into your life in any way, or rekindling old friendships or even being with them in the same room. It is NOT even about being able to fully understand their reasoning for their actions.
Forgiveness is about YOU and YOU alone.
It is about YOUR well-being. It is about YOUR peace of mind and soul. Forgiveness will allow YOU to offload some weight from your heart. Forgiveness is about giving YOURSELF some freedom and power to choose to forgive them. It is about regaining control of the things that float through your mind. It allows YOU to stop being loyal to the anger inside you anymore. You do not need to fight with yourself about what happened to you. You forgive them for YOURSELF. Because only YOU can regain that inner peace. Forgiveness is realizing they left you in ruins and now you have the power to fix things.
You deserve that of yourself.
Because you care about yourself.
You do not want to spend more time being the victim.
This is all about you….and your peace of mind.
We can decide to hate them forever and never forgive them but that was the way of the past.
It is time for us to stop being BITTER, and start being BETTER…
Think of the story of the two prisoners who met up after many years of being imprisoned and tortured. The one ex-prisoner asked “Have you finally forgiven your captors?”
The other yelled, “No! I will never forgive them!”
The first prisoner responded, “Well…I guess they still have you in prison don’t they?”
Forgiveness is a stepping stone to cutting ourselves free of the story of our past. It allows us to no longer be a victim of our unfortunate circumstances. It gives us the opportunity to move forward without carrying the weight of the past.
So let us do this together shall we?
If there is someone in your life that you need to forgive (you will know if there is), and for some reason you have not forgiven them yet. Then let us do it together if you are ready..
And if you do not feel ready yet have the strength to forgive…that is also fine…
“I learned a long time ago that some people would rather die than forgive. It’s a strange truth, but forgiveness is a painful and difficult process. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s an evolution of the heart.”
There is no rush to forgive…you must take your time to get to the moment when you are ready and only you will know when you are ready.
But if you are…
Take a deep breath…
Think of the person who has wronged you…
And..if you are ready… say the words out loud…
“I FORGIVE YOU…”
“I FORGIVE YOU…”
“I FORGIVE YOU…”
Feel it in your heart…feel yourself letting go of that weight in your chest. Feel that lightness filling inside you.
If you have done this sincerely, then you must understand what you have done is something that only the strongest among us can do. You have made the decision to stop being loyal to your anger and have the attitude of not being bitter and to be better.
This forgiveness does not mean you condone their actions, it does not mean you will continue a relationship with them, it does not even mean that you ever have to see that person again. This is for YOUR mental peace, clearing your heart and getting out of that mental prison.
Forgiveness is and always will be about YOU!
And today you have done yourself a very great favor
“We learn our lessons; we get hurt; we want revenge. Then we realize that actually, happiness and forgiving people is the best revenge.”
*special thanks to PRINCEEA for the clarity*