“Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, to be at peace, to be happy and to be able to sleep at night. You don’t forgive because you are weak but because you are strong enough to realize that only by giving up on resentment will you be happy.”~ Luminita D. Saviuc
Have you ever had that one thing or that one person that did something that just felt so awful (and maybe continues to do so) that you felt they didn’t deserve to be forgiven? I sure did. It’s painful, especially when that person never changed or showed any kind of remorse. I mean, how could you forgive someone who never even said “I’m sorry.”
I carried that kind of pain around for most of my life. I didn’t realize it at the time but I felt like I was carrying a ball and chain around everywhere I went. It was heavy and painful.
Today, is different. I’m free. I remember the first day that I really got this concept. I felt like I was levitating, like 20 pounds had been released from my shoulders (yes, I felt it physically!). We have such an internal grip on our emotions that we often don’t realize that we can control them in the first place.
It was a long road to forgiving but man, was it worth it. Forgiving someone is the thing that I help my clients to work through the most and the thing that they are often the most unwilling to give up. I get it.
Their wounds run deep and they feel like if they forgive, they’ll be left in the dust with nothing to hold onto. But here’s what I’ve learned, holding onto it keeps those wounds open. The pain comes from us, not from the unforgiveable thing.
6 Life-Changing Lessons for Finding Inner Peace through Forgiveness
It’s a verb, not a passing thought that we send someone’s way. Every time we experience anger towards the person or event, we have to do the inner healing to forgive. We have to look inside and find the root of the wound and heal it internally. Nobody outside of us can ever do this for us.
2. Forgiveness Does Not Mean What They Did Was Ok.
Forgiveness does not mean that what they did was ok and that you’ll accept them back in your life… that’s repentance. Repentance is where they prove to you that they are truly sorry and have changed their ways. It’s more than just saying “I’m sorry”, it is also a verb. To be honest, this may never happen for most of us but the truth is, we don’t need it.
Forgiveness means that you accept what has happened to you and that you chose not to carry it anymore. It is for you and you alone, not for the other person. If a poisonous snake bites you, what do you die from? It’s not the snake bite, it’s the poison that gets into your body. If you don’t let the poison in, the bite will still hurt but it will heal on its own time.
4. Forgiveness is Compassion
I know I’ve forgiven when the charge from person or event is gone. When I’m no longer triggered by them or when memories arise. When I can look back on the situation and actually feel compassion for the other person because I now know that only hurt people hurt people.
5. Forgiveness is Nurture.
Forgiveness involves going back to that hurt child or adult hiding deep inside you and giving them all the nurturing they needed in those times or moments. They need to know that the world is a safe place. That what happened to them isn’t about them, it’s about the other person. That they are beautiful. That they are loved. That they are enough. It’s helping them find their inner lights so they can shine again. You can do this alone or with the help of a trained practitioner.
One other spiritual exercise I use when I find myself getting charged toward another person is to imagine myself in a packed auditorium and the other person is on stage receiving everything in life that they have ever wanted. I have to become their biggest fan, giving them a standing ovation, cheering and channeling unconditional love for them.
I don’t imagine me just going through the motions, I imagine these feelings coming from my whole being. Most of my clients look at me like I’m crazy when I give them this exercise.
I get it. They aren’t ready.
That’s their ego talking but what the soul down below wants more than anything is freedom from the pain. We only hold ourselves back when we don’t do it. Channeling unconditional love to someone who has harmed us is how we get the poison out. It’s easy to love those who are loving. It’s not so easy to love those who aren’t so loving.
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” ~ Alexander Pope
Finally, we need to learn to step out of our perspective of the story we’ve been telling ourselves and write a new one. I am no longer the victim. I don’t tell those stories from my past in the same way. You see, these events were like mirrors in our life, showing us something in our inner world that needed to heal. When we heal those things, we step closer and closer into our authentic power.
This is the hero’s journey. The is the spiritual journey, knowing that everything we overcome and shed from our past is actually helping us find our own true selves. This is powerful stuff when you really learn to embrace it.
All the power to forgive is inside you at this very moment. To release all the pain and suffering. To heal the wounds. It starts with a choice and then doing the work anytime the feelings rise up. Do you want to continue doing things as you’ve always done or do you want to step into your power and rise up? The choice is yours.