I have no doubt that we have all been in situations where we have been hurt by a family member, a friend, an ex-partner, a current partner or a work colleague. Have you ever felt hurt as a result of someone’s actions? How did you deal with it? Have you let go? Did you tell them? Do you have someone close to you that is a repeat offender?
To me, forgiveness is about letting go of a situation where someone has done or said something to me that has left me upset, hurt and betrayed. Up until about a year ago I used to deal with negative actions by crying, getting angry at the situation/person and simply just bottling up all my emotions until one day I would just explode! Really explode! I would feel negative and often felt frustrated at why I would let these situations get to me so much. I would think to myself ‘I am not deserving of this behaviour or action from someone I care about’, ‘I know I am good person so what have I done to deserve such hurt and suffering’.
I recall watching an Oprah episode where she was speaking to a bishop about forgiveness and he used the following analogy: he says that as humans we can be as full as a gallon or as full as a pint. When you are a person that is full as a gallon and are treated badly by someone who is full as a pint, there are going to be issues. Here you are giving so much of yourself and the other person is only giving you back half of what you giving of yourself because that’s all they have. They are half empty.
Over the last year I have written down the following notes in my journal as part of my path to master true forgiveness:
~ True happiness = forgiveness
~ When you say ‘I’m going to let go’, you really need to mean it. Letting go means you have given up the hope that the past cannot be changed.
~ Accept the past. Accept what has happened and ask yourself ‘where to from here’?
~ Don’t hold a grudge. Holding a grudge affects you as a person, affects your relationship/s with those around you and stops you from learning to love yourself.
~ Don’t build up walls around you. Try and surround yourself with people like you. People that are full gallons and give to you as much as you give them.
~ If the person hurting you is a family member and you have constant contact as I do, you need to try and understand why they are like that. Once you understand why they are a certain way, lower your expectations from them so you are not left disappointed.
Forgiving someone is not telling them what they did was ok. Forgiving someone is you as a person accepting something has happened, acknowledging it cannot be changed and then letting it go. If there is no forgiveness in our life then there is no room for change.