What does it mean to forgive? Some of us think it is the acceptance, approval, or allowing of bad behavior. And that is not it at all. I have found that forgiveness is an act of self-love and self-preservation. Its true purpose is to release us from pain and suffering, so that we can go on and live in love and inner-peace. To forgive is to reclaim our power. The event or person who caused us suffering no longer controls how we feel. When we forgive we are set free. Therefore, forgiveness means freedom!
Un-forgiveness is the root of all bitterness. If we remain unforgiving, we block the voice of love, which only leads to more bitterness and critical thinking. Who suffers most from the anger, pain, and resentment you feel? You, always you. One of my favorite passages in A Course in Miracles states: “The unforgiving mind is full of fear, and offers love no room to be itself; no place where it can spread its wings in peace and soar above the turmoil of the world. The unforgiving mind is sad, without the hope of respite and release from pain. It suffers and abides in misery, peering about in darkness, seeing not, yet certain of the danger lurking there.” Forgiveness, on the other hand, is the foundation of a life filled with love and miracles.
Forgiveness is an essential part of living our best life. Without it we could waste our whole life away in agony or resentment. No one should live this way. Living a life full of joy and inspiration requires a serious commitment to forgiveness, and the process begins by first forgiving ourselves. As I look back over my life I am able to see how holding on to past resentments toward myself is what kept me stuck in old fear patterns and held me back from living a free flowing life of love. I can honestly say that through forgiveness I have experienced miracles.
How do we forgive? Here’s what works for me:
I begin with the understanding that by holding onto un-forgiveness, I am harming myself, and by letting go of the negative thoughts and grudges, I free up the space for new experiences of love, inspiration, success, connectedness, health, and power. I remind myself that forgiveness unlocks the chains that hold me hostage and keep me from moving on. I recognize that I cannot take the actions of others personally. I know that I am not the real cause of their behavior, and that anyone who triggered their fear or upset would have received the same treatment. I remind myself that to blame makes me a victim, and I refuse to live in victimhood. Besides empowering myself, I know that forgiveness improves my health, relationships, my well-being. I ask for help. I ask my Creator/ Source/ God to take the burden from me. I ‘turn it over” to Spirit and give thanks that I am free. I reflect on the truth I choose to live my life by: Love is the most powerful force in existence and I am one with it. If the feelings are intense, I might write everything I have to say, unedited, unrestrained, and unfiltered, and when I feel complete, I (safely) burn the writings. Sometimes, I light a candle and send every unforgiving thought away in its flame. There may be ways that work better for you. I encourage you to seek them. How you forgive is not important, only that you do it. Only your freedom matters.
I'd love to know how you forgive. Comment below and share an insight with me.