“True forgiveness is when you can say, “Thank you for that experience.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
Have you ever been so mad at someone you decide you’ll never forgive them? Do you feel hatred towards someone or something and can’t stand the thought of them/it? Most everyone has experienced hurt, disappointment or sadness in their life, so I’m guessing you’re no exception.
Has there ever been a time when you’ve been upset with yourself? Perhaps you made a “bad” decision, acted inappropriately, missed an opportunity or “messed up” somewhere along the way. You play that story over and over in your head and think if only. . ., call yourself stupid or feel crummy every time you think about it or have a similar experience.
Forgiveness is the best gift you can give yourself – hanging on to hatred is only hurting you.
Think about that, if you feel hatred or cannot forgive someone, is it stopping them from living their life? Is it hurting them as much as it may be holding you back? For instance, if you get sick and decide you like having people wait on you so you refuse to get better, are you hurting everyone else more than you’re hurting yourself? You’re the one who can’t move on, you may be confined to bed, you can’t enjoy the things you’d like to, but by golly you have someone waiting one you, so it’s worth it, right? When they get tired of waiting on you they can find someone else to do it, send you to a care facility or worse, just leave you and you’re stuck being sick and feeling yucky. It may be a silly example, but you get the point home.
When you forgive you are not “giving in” or saying that you agree, condone what happened or that you want to be friends and invite that person over for dinner, forgiveness simply means you’re letting go and freeing yourself to move forward. You don’t have to “forget” – every experience teaches us a lesson (or two) so remember the lesson, but forgive the person/situation.
Forgive yourself too, we all make mistakes or choices we wish we could change. Learn the lesson and move forward.
You cannot change what has happened; only what you think about or cling to. If you’re clinging to the past or always looking backwards, it’s going to be very difficult to move forward. Staying stuck in the past is like trying to drive down the road only looking in the review mirror. It’d be hard to make positive forward progress, right?
Forgiving is a positively selfish thing to do and is necessary for you to live life to the fullest. No one sets out to have these experiences nor would they want to repeat them, however these experiences do serve a purpose.
Next week – I’ll share tips on “how” to release the negative thoughts/feelings and move towards forgiveness.