Forgiveness is the opportunity to ‘give’ yourself permission to enter a place of unconditional love. This place of love is always and has always been available to you. Forgiveness is the greatest gift we have, for ourselves and others. It takes us to love every time we practice it.
Forgiveness usually comes during adulthood as we leave the ‘me’ behind, and begin to see others as fellow human beings (even our parents!), and understand that we all have been unjust, cruel or hurtful at some point in our lives.
Some of us learn forgiveness earlier than others, some will not learn forgiveness during this lifetime.
- Forgiveness ends suffering, hatred, revenge, pain, anger, blame and fear.
- Forgiveness creates love, joy, peaceful heart, happiness, compassion, tenderness and contentment.
- Forgiveness releases us from the need to change or justify the past.
- Forgiveness allows our Spiritual self to learn, understand and move into the present.
- There are many proven health benefits to forgiveness including: Improved sleep, decrease in headaches and stomach problems (including ulcers), relief from anxiety and depression, renewed energy and as sense of calm.
Why don’t we forgive?
- Holding on to anger/blame protects us.
- Revenge makes us feel better.
- Remembering our hurt will prevent future hurts.
Forgiveness is the acceptance that the past is over, it is release, honesty, growth, moving on, freedom, strength, wisdom and joy. It is healing, peace, closure, unconditional and is a gift to yourself and others. Forgiveness also requires great strength and is often difficult to do, requiring love, compassion and understanding.
Forgiveness is not changing the other person, the past or the event. It is not punishment, conditional, condoning bad behaviour, admitting you were wrong or a guaranteed reconciliation. It is certainly not allowing yourself to be victimized or permitting negative behaviour to continue.
Forgiveness is also not forgetting. Trying to forget something that occurred and caused significant emotional pain is like trying to forget how to ride a bike. In fact, one must acknowledge the situation and emotional trauma before forgiveness can occur. However, not forgetting does not mean holding a grudge.
15 reasons why our ego doesn’t want to forgive
- Someone really hurt you. They deserve the pain you’re dishing out. Your anger and punishment.
- If you forgive, they’ll just do it again.
- If you forgive, you are weak.
- If you forgive, that’s the same as admitting you are wrong.
- If you forgive and try to forget – you are no longer safe.
- Not forgiving keeps you in control.
- Not forgiving keeps a good distance between you and the person/situation.
- Not forgiving feels like great revenge.
- Not forgiving lets you hold power over others.
- Forgiving someone who has caused you pain isn’t very smart.
- If you forgive – it’s like agreeing.
- If you forgive – you are condoning negative behaviour.
- Only forgive if they say they are sorry.
- If it’s not your fault, why should you do the forgiving?
- If you forgive you lose your role as the victim.
- It’s easier (more fun) to keep playing out the drama than dealing with the issues. When our sense of Self is one of suffering or misery, adding more misery will add to our sense of Self. Conflict, blame, revenge, spite, punishment, easy way out, control, power, self-righteousness, fear, anger, self-pity and judgement help identify the external ‘me’.
This is the drama — the play. Sometimes ‘pretending’ we are dealing with issues surrounding forgiveness can add even more drama.
What would you do without those pains? Who would you really be? Do you need to be suffering? Stop intensifying the pain by stop telling the story.
The benefits of forgiveness:
The number one benefit of forgiving yourself, others and situations is a sense of peace.
Other benefits include; personal happiness, optimism, greater self-esteem, personal empowerment, more time to focus on other things, less procrastination, more energy, less self-defeating thinking, personal and spiritual growth, improved relationships and better conflict management in all other areas of life.
Health benefits include; less stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure, improved sleep, decrease in anxiety and/or depression.
Finally, it makes it easier to forgive in the future.
Yes, forgiveness is an ongoing thing!