the F word: forgiveness
Forgiveness is the most powerful gift we can give ourselves. Through forgiveness, we can access true freedom – free of the past; free of our demons; free of our ego.
Whether it is a global event, a romantic heartbreak, or a disappointment with a friend – any and every time we feel betrayed, disappointed, or hurt; it is remarkably hard as humans to move on. We are angry, saddened, cheated. We have a natural tendancy to wish ill on the person who committed the act, and sit in our difficult emotions, feeling victim to another person’s actions.
When another person hurts us in any way, our ego (the part of us that is concerned with how we are perceived in the world) flares up. Without our control, it quickly steps in, pointing out the other person’s mistakes and wrong doings, and reminding us that we don’t deserve this. And it is right – you do not deserve this. But from this place, the hated grows, the heartache digs deeper, and the resentment boils to a place where you can’t see a time in the future that this will not bother you.
We have all sat in the dark place of devastation – it is the human thing to do. Hell, perhaps you are even sitting there right now. But the good news is: you are not alone, and there is a way out of this icky feeling.
The way out? Forgiveness.
Yep, that’s it. Seem hard as hell? I am with you. Right now your ego is screaming at you – don’t forgive them! When I first embraced the practice of forgiveness, mine did too, and to this day, it still does flare up and scream at me. But here’s why forgiveness is the way out of this place.
We are human – all of us. Which means not a single person on this planet has the entire recipe for how to be perfect. When someone makes a choice that hurts us, our ego wants revenge. It wants to stomp, cry, and tell the world like a toddler in the grocery store who isn’t getting their way.
When we blame others for their actions though, we are also blaming ourselves. For every finger we point, if we truly look at ourselves openly, there are fingers pointing back at us. Because we all make mistakes, any animosity we hold on to around others is also animosity that is being held around ourselves. And this is why forgiveness is the way out of your heartache.
When we forgive others, we open up permission to forgive ourselves. In understanding the humanity of the person we are angry with, we recognize the humanity in us, also. By casting forgiveness and wishing good will, we wash away our need for revenge and instead, invite in permission for our own good will and future happiness.
Forgiveness can be the hardest practice of all. It cannot be done once, but instead, it must be practiced repetitively in your head. This need not be a message to the other person, but rather an internal dialogue with yourself. And keep in mind – forgiveness does not mean you need to bring them back in your life in the same way. There are some relationships that are meant to end. Instead, forgiveness means that you free the person from the chains you hold them in and let them go. In doing so, your chains will also be released, and you will be free.
Whatever the situation, the next time you are holding onto anger, sadness, heartbreak, etc. say to yourself the following:
I am willing to forgive them for the pain I feel
I set them free from the chains, which bind them,
And release myself from those, which bind me.
Please let me see the humanity in our actions
And find forgiveness and understanding
Despite my heartache/anger/sadness (insert your feeling),
I see our shared humanity and wish them growth.
May they be happy. May they be healthy. May they be free.
May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be free.
Making time to repeat this as you need to will open you up so that you can pass through the dark feelings, and move onwards to that which will serve you better. From the darkness comes the opportunity to find great light.