The ability to forgive another is one of the greatest gifts we can bestow, upon that person and upon ourselves. There is a at least a small part of everyone that knows this to be true. For some, however, it is indeed one of the hardest things to do. Because of the extent of their hurt, anger, sense of betrayal, etc., they just are not able to forgive. They think they feel better by holding on to the pain and bitterness. It is a scientific fact that holding on has no physical or psychological benefits. In fact quite the opposite is true.
We have all heard the statement made that by forgiving the other person you are actually helping yourself. You are getting rid of the toxic thoughts and behaviors that are part of maintaining the anger. You are also freeing yourself of negative energy for it does, indeed, take a lot of energy to remain angry at someone for a sustained amount of time. Let’s face it, if you have to remind yourself that you are angry and why it is time to let it go.
Free yourself. Take back your power. You see when you chose (and yes, it is INDEED a CHOICE) to stay angry at someone they have power over you. The funny thing is often they are not even aware of such. But, when you elect to keep rehashing the wrong they have done you give them power over your emotions. When you recognize and accept that you can exercise a different option, the pendulum swings. When you choose how you will react when you see the person (positively), and how you will view the situation (as the learning experience that it was) then you are now in the catbird seat. You now have control of yourself and the situation.
This is all well and good, but what about when the hardest person to forgive is the man/woman in the mirror? Sometimes we beat ourselves up harder than anyone else EVER would over our actions, choices, outcomes, decisions, etc. Why would I do such a thing knowing that this was a possible outcome? What was I thinking? How could I be so stupid (that’s a big one )? Forgiveness of self can be one of life’s greatest hurdles especially if we hold ourselves to a high standard. We don’t like to disappoint others and we certainly don’t like to disappoint ourselves.
I find myself working through such a situation right now. What I did is not the issue. The issue is how I feel about the action and it’s outcomes. I especially find myself on the “How could I be so stupid?” page. As I counsel myself (yes, I’m fond of doing that) through the process of eventual forgiveness I have to face the honest facts:
1. I am not perfect and as a result of that I will make mistakes.
2. Some of the greatest periods of growth are a result of big mistakes.
3. “Big” is a relative word. This is only a big mistake until the next big one comes along.
4. I am as worthy of my own forgiveness as anyone else I grant forgiveness to.
5. Anything I learn from can’t be all bad or a total mistake.
6. Listen to your gut instinct. It will not steer you wrong.
As I work toward forgiving myself I encourage you to do the same. If you are constantly beating yourself up over something you are rendering yourself powerless and thus impeding your growth. Let it go. You are not made to be perfect. You are made to do and be your best. We are all works in progress.
Spread love…peace and blessings.