"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." - Lewis B. Smedes
If there's one thing I've always been quite good at, it's holding a grudge. If you really hurt me, you better believe I'd hold a grudge - for decades. I've been working through a lot of these grudges over the past few years, but I've found that there are some that I just can't let go of. I try very hard to walk my talk. I want nothing more than to be at peace, but the pain is pretty deep. I've been open to that 'next step' to help me with forgiveness. As fate would have it, I was recently able to attend a healing circle on forgiveness. I left with quite a few takeaways that I'd love to share with you. If you're struggling with forgiveness of yourself or others, perhaps something here will help shift your perspective.
1. A LOT of energy is spent on holding a grudge or not forgiving. Consider how much energy is used up thinking about what someone did to us. How many times do we replay it in our mind? Add to that the drain from all of the emotions that are tied to that situation. If you think about how someone did you wrong - you're putting your energy there and reliving all of the associated emotions. Is that where you want your energy to go?
2. Forgiveness and compassion go hand in hand. It is about having compassion for others, but it's more about having compassion for yourself. It involves loving yourself enough to release the burdens of non-forgiveness. As they say, when you forgive someone, it's more about doing it for your sake rather than theirs. It's not about forgiving what they did, it's about releasing the emotions and thoughts that are still causing you pain.
3. Forgiving someone does not mean that you condone their actions. It means you are ready to be at peace with the situation. Forgiving someone does not mean that you have to let them back into your life. Also, be sure that when you forgive, you're not just glossing over your feelings or stuffing them down - they need to be acknowledged and processed.
4. If you can't forgive yet, that's ok - just love yourself anyway. This was a huge takeaway for me. Sometimes it takes longer to forgive someone. You're not a bad person if you can't offer someone absolution. Give yourself the time you need and work through your emotions. Definitely keep loving yourself through the process.
5. Forgiveness contributes to a peaceful world. Forgiveness is about returning to a state of peace in your own being. As within, so without; our inner world reflected in the outer world. If you would like more peace on this planet, start with yourself. As Marianne Williamson beautifully stated, ”The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. Angry people cannot create a peaceful planet. It amuses me to think how angry I used to get when people wouldn’t sign my peace petitions."
Forgiveness is so important and not usually easy to achieve. Can you think of some people in your life who you hold a grudge against? Who do you need to forgive to bring yourself more peace? What are you holding that you need to forgive yourself for? Start there. Make a list of the reasons and emotions. Work through them. If you're struggling and feel that you can't forgive something/someone, keep loving yourself and work at it as you go. As you work through it and open your heart, you will reach that point where you can honestly say, 'I forgive you' and be at peace. There's a wonderful song that I invite you to listen to by Matthew West, titled Forgiveness. Here is a glimpse of some of the lyrics to his song:
It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…
It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’
Here's to working on setting ourselves free. Love, Adrienne :)
Hello! I'm Adrienne Almamour, an empathic intuitive conduit. I assist people by detecting and clearing their subconscious emotional energy blockages. This blog is a commentary and reflection of life from an intuitive standpoint which also incorporates ways that allow us to be from our heart.