I’ve done plenty of things in my life for which I needed forgiveness. Sometimes I got it, sometimes I didn’t. Obviously I feel worse about the things for which I wasn’t forgiven. But I don’t feel worse only for me, I got over it a long time ago. I made peace with my screw-up, I vowed to not make the same mistake again and I moved on.
I feel worse for the person who didn’t forgive me. They may still be holding a grudge and that’s a terrible burden to carry around. I feel terrible that the original cause of that grudge was me, something I did or something I said. But when someone offends us we have two choices, we can forgive and get on with our lives or we can carry that offense around with us like an anchor.
Anchors are heavy, they slow down and often completely stop our journey towards success.
It is important that we understand that while forgiveness may be good for the forgiven it is vital to the forgiver. Forgiveness frees us to live in the present. Forgiveness allows us to move forward in life without that anchor of anger or energy sapping contempt slowing us down.
Forgiving does not mean condoning whatever wrongdoing was directed our way. It doesn’t even mean forgetting what was done to us. It just means we are not going to allow that offense to steal one additional minute of our happiness.
Forgiving someone flushes the anger, hatred, hurt and resentment out of our system and gives us back the power to control our emotions and our lives.
When someone hurts you in some way tell them. Tell them why you feel the way you do and explain why it’s not acceptable. That’s an important step in forgiveness because in that moment you’re teaching that person what you will accept and what you won’t. Tell them as well that you forgive them, whether they think they need forgiveness or not. Remember, this is more for you than it is for them.
There is tremendous power in forgiveness but you must forgive in order to experience it. When you experience the pain of wrongdoing YOU have to make the choice of carrying that pain with you or letting it go.
Holding on holds you back, let it go and set yourself free!