For-give to For-get
Forgiveness And It's Many Meanings
During this time of year, holiday seasons and everyday many struggle with forgiving others. Forgiveness is a topic many struggle with and I feel it's because we don't really understand it's deep meaning. The word forgive has many definitions and interpretations for every individual. I feel this is why it's hard to do. In the webster dictionary is states to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) : to stop blaming (someone) to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong). Other sources such as dictionary.com state, to cease to feel resentment against. These definition pretty much cover it. However forgiveness for some means giving in or condoning a bad act. Some people feel you stop punishing when you forgive. Some may define forgiveness as being weak, a doormat or losing control. However that control we think we have, is an illusion. I've realized we don't have any control of the offender or the situation, actually we're the ones being controlled. We're not punishing the offender or making them suffer. We're actually punishing and causing suffering to ourselves. We don't have the power of being right or are superior by holding onto the anger and by holding our offender hostage. Actually we're holding ourselves hostage, by holding on to the anger, hurt and pain. For some it may feel better to hold on to that pain than it is to confront it but that's part of the illusion we are really causing ourselves more damage and further pain. We never get to heal.
Many have found forgiveness as a path towards peace. They've learned that when you forgive you allow love into your heart and life. For them forgiveness is the only answer to healing, not time or forgetting or distracting our minds. Some people feel it's the only way to bring peace into our hearts, souls and lives. I have recently learned that when you for-give, you for-get. When you give yourself the gift of healing, you get back love. I feel that's worth fighting for.
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”~Oprah
Forgiveness A Gift
Forgiveness is a gift for ourselves because we deserve peace. It's to let go of the anger that's holding onto us and bringing us down. When someone hurts us we then continue the hurt by repeating it over and over again in our minds. Our minds continue the playback and our heart feels the pain continually. Then we hold on to the anger because we're afraid of letting go of the pain, we feel if we stay anger they can't hurt us again or we won't feel pain. The anger is the block but ironically it's what leads us towards forgiveness. It takes more then just agreeing to forgive, it's the willingness to let go of the anger.
When we keep our minds fixated on the offender and their acts we enter a cycle of blaming. A merry-go-round of blame that does nothing for us but fester more anger which is only hurting us. This anger is energy that we haven't let go of, so it just continues to travel all over our bodies hurting our immune system, heart, mind and entire body. This same energy overflows into our daily lives and world. It affects how we interacts with ourselves and how we interact others. This anger holds us back from growing, living and it'll affect everything we touch.
We Can Depend On Ourselves To Heal
The anger you feel is part of the healing process. Moreover, if you accept your anger, you'll find your fears and when you accept your fears you can face them and heal. However if you hold on to the anger then that's what's going to hurt you. Letting go of anger is accepting that we all, people in general are not perfect. We will hurt each other intentionally or unintentionally but it's up to us to discontinue the pain. People will hurt us but most of the time we continue the hurt by mentally replaying the offense and staying angry. We get stuck in the blaming and accusations. This is what's creates the negative energy and causes the suffering over and over again. The person who hurt us isn't suffering or getting punished from our anger, we are. Even if we don't get an apology it's still up to us to forgive and let go. We are responsible for our own happiness and peace. We're all here on earth making mistakes, learning and growing. However, it's up to us to take care of our wounds and souls. We can trust in ourselves, to then trust others. When we forgive we open our hearts to others because we can always trust ourselves to be there, even if others aren't. We can't solely rely on others to bring us peace but we can count on ourselves 100%.
Forgiveness heals, not time or blaming anyone. It's easier to forgive if we look at it as a self-care remedy. A way to look at it is using forgiveness as treatment, to take care of a wound, clean it out, disinfect it and nurse it back to health. Even our unseen wounds needs care because just like a physical wound it can get infected, swollen and the infection can spread to different areas. A mental, emotional and spiritual infection can spread into other relationships, finances, career and of course our physical health. Forgiveness is the treatment and ultimately the cure. Forgiveness is a two way street, meaning we have to forgive ourselves and others. Yes, we have to forgive ourselves first because in a subconscious level we co-created our situations and external events. Sometimes unconsciously, we allow people to treat us poorly, we don't face reality or we're too afraid to leave an unhealthy situation. Even if we were the victims of uncontrollable events we still have to forgive ourselves for letting the anger grow or for mentally reliving the painful events. We may not always have control of life's painful events but we can control how we react and we can choose to start healing by cleaning out the wounds and forgiving.
Forgiveness is the treatment we need to heal our hearts and souls. It's the pill we need to swallow for our sake only. We love ourselves too much to cause any more suffering. We owe it to ourselves to discontinue the spread of the infection. It's up to us to take action in cleaning out the wound and putting a forgiveness bandage on our wounds.
How Do We Forgive
It may not seem easy to forgive but if this is something you struggle the best way to start is with yourself. We need to look at how we made the pain deeper, how we participated in hurting ourselves and how much anger we created within us. I'm not saying to blame ourselves but take responsibility for our part. Most of the time we're angry because our ego doesn't want to let go of the blame and anger. We continue the suffering within us. Forgiving ourselves is a reminder that we all make mistakes and we're human beings doing the best we can with what we know. Once we forgive ourselves it's easier to let go of the anger others have caused us because we can see with eyes of compassion. We don't have to condone others who have harmed us but we can forgive that they made poor choices because they're human beings doing what they know. Yes, they hurt us but now we get our power back by letting go of the anger, cut those ties so we heal and move on to happier days. It may take help from our higher power (as we know him). Forgiveness is a divine action because it's all about spiritual growth. Praying, mediating and focusing on peace, because it's what we seek when we're tormented by anger. Ask your higher power to help you forgive yourself and others. Keep in mind we're human being have a spiritual journey, forgiveness is a tool in strengthen our souls.
I am currently working on forgiving myself. I did experience a lot of pain as a child, things that were out of my control and I understand that it wasn't my fault. However throughout the years I caused a lot of my suffering because I had so much to forgive and I didn't know it or how to. I was doing the best I could with what I knew. It was hard to forgive because I first needed to forgive myself for being hard on myself, for replaying childhood pains and for the pain I caused others. As I learned more about myself I realized that I needed to be compassionate with myself first. So I did and then learned to be compassionate with others. Forgiveness has layers, it takes patience, understanding and determination. If you lack these things, you can learn it, nothing is impossible unless you make it impossible. Asking your higher power for guidance helps because we learn. My higher power has led me to books, a wonderful therapist and healing. Therapy helped me because I was able to talk out my fears, shame, guilt and anger without being judged. Reading books about fear,anxiety,depression, addiction. co-dependency and anything I felt I needed to work on. This is part of doing the work and inviting peace. You can do it with help from others and your higher power.
These are two of my favorite books that helped me and are still healing me today. They are informative, inspiring and help with forgiving. They help to heal which is the goal and it's what we need to live a happy and peaceful life.
- Forgiveness by Iyanla Vanzant
- Radical Self-Forgiveness by Colin Tipping
There are so many other books but these two were powerful for me. I feel an open mind, heart and most importantly, the yearning for peace will help you forgive. You will gain so much when you choose to forgive. You'll feel better, look better and be better. When you For-give you really do For-get.