Forgiveness…is one of those practices that is easier said than done…would you agree?
Ever wonder why forgiving is such a tough thing to do, especially when we most likely know that forgiveness puts us on the road to more love and freedom?
Primarily, it’s because many of us equate forgiveness with allowing or letting someone off the hook for wrongdoing. We think that by forgiving someone, we’re saying that what they did was okay.
Forgiveness can look like we’re condoning the other person’s behavior. It’s easy to get caught up in the thought, “Why should I forgive? What was done to me was wrong/horrible/unforgivable! He/she doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.”
And I get it, I was in that space when I was married and discovered my husband was cheating. But here’s the thing – forgiveness is more about YOU than the other person.
Leading prosperity expert, Catherine Ponder, has a great quote supporting this truth,
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
So, in actuality, when we are able to forgive, we release ourselves from the bondage of the anger, hurt, resentment and possibly deep-seated pain we carry inside. Those feelings can keep us stuck and unable to move forward in our lives. For instance, if a past relationship caused you tremendous pain, you may be unconsciously sabotaging potential new relationships because you’re emotionally unavailable as you try to protect yourself against further hurt. By not being able to release and let go of what happened in the past, you keep yourself closed off from the love, joy and happiness you most desire.
How can you move on without believing you’re condoning what’s happened in the past?
Well, first, when you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you have to continue to have a relationship with them. In fact, you never have to speak to them again-ever! It also doesn’t mean that when you say the words, “I forgive,” all is erased as if it never happened.
What is important to do, however, is to see the hurt you’ve experienced in a new light. It means connecting to and expanding that part of you that has never been hurt or harmed and can never be anything less than all-that-is. It means taking your past hurt to a new place…maybe even seeing the light AND the flaws in those that have “done you wrong,” with a measure of compassion for them.
This is not easy nor is it quick. And it does not mean you ever allow this to happen to you again. To be able to truly move on, it can be extremely helpful to follow a process that allows you to arrive at a place of forgiveness. Here are seven steps you might follow to get there:
- Look at the hurt you have not been able to forgive up to now.
- Identify and allow yourself to feel your feelings about that hurt. Is there anger or resentment there? Is there fear, shame, guilt, embarrassment, or some other feeling connected to your hurt?
- Imagine how your life could be if you released this hurt and all the feelings related to it. Visualize the joy, excitement and happiness you will experience.
- Now here’s the biggest step! Declare that you are ready to let the hurt go. Yes, make a declaration. “I, _____, am ready to release this hurt and the feelings I have experienced along with it!”
- Do it! Release it! Let it go! Forgive the person, including yourself, for what you went through. You can do this quietly to yourself, with a trusted friend or coach or by expressing it directly to the individual you want to release. You can also put their name in a balloon and send it up to the heavens asking God to help you forgive.
- Feel the freedom and exhilaration of all that is now possible in your life. Know that anything and everything is possible. Feel it. Believe it.
- Go for it! Take the first steps into the love and freedom you now have to create new relationships built on trust and mutual respect.
The result of forgiveness is that you now have a new perception and are not emotionally tied to the person. You’ve opened your heart, created peace, and are allowing natural feelings of affection and love to flow towards yourself and others. And from that new place of expansion comes abundance, happiness and a GREAT life. So, go for the good life. You deserve it!