You can’t get online today without coming across an article or quote on forgiveness. It’s everywhere, and I believe it’s good. I was going through a typical day last week and something was off for me. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but I wasn’t centered and I was having a difficult time being at home within my own space. I sat down and began to reflect and be mindful of what was going on within my spirit and body. And then it hit me. I had some anger about an old wound that I had received. A particular person had wronged me long ago and something in my week had triggered new feelings surrounding that particular incident. I was amazed that I was angry about it as I had spent quite a bit of time processing, forgiving and healing in regards to that incident and the person involved. The thoughts started racing through my mind, “why in the world am I still angry about that? I thought I had dealt with that years ago.” The truth is that as we gain new experiences in life we are constantly learning and growing. In this process we may find that there are new revelations about old incidents in our lives that cause an old wound to feel fresh. “Aha! That’s why I felt so hurt back then… because I felt completely dismissed.” Or whatever the revelation may be. And that’s a good thing to have new revelations about our lives. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t truly forgive that person. It just means we have to continue to choose to forgive that person. Forgiveness is a choice every day. At the very least, every time those feelings of anger, hurt, or disappointment come up. We must choose again to forgive and to let it go.
Forgiveness does not mean trying to forget. There are times it can be harmful to reject your anger and your hurt or to stuff your feelings down and ignore them. Forgiveness is about admitting that we were hurt and being okay with the fact that we are angry and still choosing to move forward in a healthy manner. We aren’t letting someone off the hook. We are raising the quality of our own life by choosing not to dwell in bitterness and hatred.
Recently I was asked… ‘Is forgiving my perpetrator for my own gain truly an act of forgiveness.’ The answer is always yes. Forgiveness means that we acknowledge we were wronged and that we don’t want to live as a victim any longer.
Forgiveness starts as nothing more than a choice for a better life for you. It means no longer holding on and owning that hurt and pain, but being willing to let it go when the time is right.
It's scary because some of us have found our identity for such a long time as the person ‘that’ happened to. It feels uncomfortable and like completely new territory to choose to let go of it and find our identity in something new. But it is safe to let go of it. You won't die if you choose to find your identity in love, wholeness and renewal. You will only live a healthier and higher quality of life.
If you've read 40 articles on forgiveness but haven't found away yet to move forward, this is your time… right now… to make the conscious choice and decide ‘I am going to forgive. I am going to find away. I will be okay.' It doesn’t mean you will immediately ‘feel’ like it. It means that you value yourself too much to continue living in the hatred and the pain forever.
If you’ve recently found yourself rehashing and old incident and nursing an old wound, it’s ok. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. It just means that you’re continuing to grow and realize new aspects of who you are. Just remember that with these new revelations you can continue to choose a higher quality of life. You can be free again because freedom is a choice.
"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." - Alan Watts
"The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation." - Eudora Welty
"Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret." - Miguel Angel Ruiz