“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”-Lewis B. Smedes
Today I am discussing an uncomfortable topic. Something that looks easy on the surface, but very difficult to do it for self & others – “FORGIVENESS”.
Forgiveness is an important part of our individual & spiritual growth. It comes even before gratitude. To be able to forgive needs a lot of inner awareness and strength. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted. One may do all that is required to be a better human, follow all spiritual practices, live a compassionate life, pay gratitude, but if one is holding on to forgiveness, it is all futile.
Why is Forgiving so tough?
Forgiveness is a difficult area to deal with. Forgiveness for others would somehow still come easily over a period of time.
I shouldn’t have trusted them, I shouldn’t have let them do this to me, I should have been more alert and not so emotional, I left my comfort and career to accept their way of life- I shouldn’t have done it, I am not worthy of forgiving for my own past mistakes. I am imperfect, I shouldn’t have loved someone so much that they could hurt me, I will never ask for help. How could I have let that happen? Why was I not alert and proactive, I am guilty of my own situation and can never forget it, there is something wrong with me hence…
Do you hear yourself saying these things in your mind. You make yourself believe that you are being self-righteous in not forgiving others and more importantly yourself. I am equally guilty of this mistake that it wrecked my own health and peace of mind and threw me off track.
Forgiveness can be healing
Forgiveness is a two-part activity. One is to forgive self and the other is to forgive the person, situation.
Forgiveness is an act of freeing oneself from other’s burdens. It doesn’t mean that you approve of the wrong done but don’t hold yourself captive in those thoughts long after the person is gone and the situation is over.
Have you heard of the adage – Forgive and forget! It is more easy said than done. When it comes to forgiving ourselves, we hardly pay attention.
The forgiveness part is not an outside activity, it is an internal one. They say charity begins at home. So why don’t we start right with us, our soul. We reflect out what we are inside. So if you are holding on to guilt, unforgiveness, low self-worth, distrust, they all get reflected to our external world, to our near and dear ones. By not forgiving you are imprisoning yourself infinitely long after the event is over. Of course it will show up on your physical & mental health.
We have caged ourselves and our potential with such unworthy thoughts and been carrying it on our backs since long years. Are you not feeling tired carrying this unnecessary luggage on your head? Don’t you feel weighed down carrying this suffocating baggage? Do you want to unshackle yourself and let yourself taste freedom? How would it feel to take the weight off your chest?
Would you like to shift your consciousness from victim to an self-empowered aware individual?
By not forgiving, we are poisoning ourselves daily in small doses. It is like trying to swim to the surface for getting a gasp of fresh air only to know that you have one leg tied to a stone pulling you down.
By not forgiving, we often give our power to others. How would it be to take back your power, your happiness, your joy, your feeling of bliss. It is all rightfully yours to take back – here and now.
I had a profound experience with my anger that I held against some people. It made me comfortable to feel anger until I experienced the magic of forgiveness. The day I became aware that it was affecting my health and mental peace, I decided to try talking to counselors. It didn’t help me much. Then one of my mentors introduced a forgiveness exercise. It was the most toughest and intense exercise I have done in my life & the most rewarding one. It’s not only forgiveness to all those who hurt us, but we also have to ask forgiveness from all whom we have hurt, including ourselves. It is a two-way street.
Relax and breathe in and out normally.
- Every bud has to turn into a flower, night has to turn into day, there is sunshine after every rain. The cycle of life continues whether you have forgiven or not. It is time for you to release and let-go of these non-realistic boundaries you have built for yourself. Step out of this prison of resentment and being over self-righteous. Build your inner power, strength and bask in the radiance of the true you. You are love, you are compassion, you are confident, you are perfect, you are doing the best you can do, you are whole, you are complete. The universe loves all its creations equally and you are the child of the Creator. You are not alone, you are supported, you are FREE.
- So come and lets cleanse ourselves and let-go of what doesn’t serve us anymore and start anew..
- List down all the painful, hurtful memories, people, place, situations.
- Daily, before you say gratitude, ask, and give forgiveness to that list. It is not a one-time practice.
It has to be integrated as your basic values. Forgiveness sets us free – like Mahatma Gandhi said “The weak cannot forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”.
Are you ready to forgive and to be forgiven? Build your forgiveness muscle to automatically work for you to open your path of inner peace, fulfilment, joy, and abundance.
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Very well said & I totally agree with each one word said by you .
Thank you for your kind comments Dr.Chetna!