Forgiveness by Denise Marek.

15 Aug

Forgiveness is one of the very best gifts you can give to yourself.

What is forgiveness? It’s understanding that you cannot go back and change the past and it’s accepting that all your experiences—no matter how traumatic, painful, or unhappy they may have been—are simply lessons from which to learn. Whether emotional, physical, or psychological, negative or positive, those lessons were meant to teach you how to be who you are in this moment—a wiser, more empowered you. You need to understand and accept that today you’re the person you are because of what you’ve learned. Once you accept those lessons—and truly learn from them—the negatives of yesterday will never affect you again. You won’t carry doubt, fear, and guilt. Instead you’ll be free. That freedom comes from forgiveness.

Who is it that you need to forgive? Everyone. You need to forgive yourself for everything it is that you believe you’ve done wrong, for example, not giving love when someone needed it, not being supportive, creating negative energy in another person’s life or in your own, or not being honorable or respectable. You also need to forgive others—all those of whom you’ve thought negatively because of something they said or did. Forgive the neighbor who lied to you, the parents who scolded you, the kid who bullied you in school, the boss who fired you, the spouse who hurt you, and the friend who betrayed you. But how? How do you forgive and stop carrying the negatives of the past around with you?

First, look at the individual you’re forgiving (whether it’s yourself or another) in a different way—step back and put the positive first. In my situation, I had to stop seeing that first friend as nasty and see that perhaps she did what she did out of fear. Maybe she was afraid that if I had a boyfriend, she would be alone, so she preemptively swooped in to protect herself. Or it could be that she was repeating a pattern taught to her by her mother—who, in an effort to control my friend would threaten to take away her special things and give them to me if she wasn’t good!  Maybe my friend was trying to control me in the same way—by taking away the things I liked.

Next, use that lesson to learn something positive about yourself as you move forward. Ask yourself: What lesson have I learned about myself and with what lesson am I moving forward? For me, this experience taught me the importance of being a trustworthy friend and today that’s what I strive to be. It also gave me the opportunity to see firsthand how holding on to anger, upset, and negative feelings keeps you stuck in the past and how forgiveness can free you. Through the experience I learned to forgive and I moved forward. These are some pretty positive lessons for which I’m very thankful.

In forgiving others, it’s important to realize that you’re not condoning poor behavior. You simply understand you can’t change what’s happened, and you accept there were lessons for you to learn in those experiences. You don’t have to necessarily like how you’ve learned those lessons, but you can come to a place where you’re grateful because you’re stronger. Those situations made you tougher, more aware, more conscious, and more capable. You can treasure the fact that you’ve learned so much.

Take all your experiences and become empowered by them. You can’t change them, but you can discover something of value in them. When you do, you’ll be able to extend forgiveness to yourself and others. You won’t carry the barriers and the weights of the past—you’ll be free. You’ll be free to grow into the best person you can be and to create the best life for yourself. Begin today by forgiving for good.

I personally enjoyed reading this one.  The words ring true.  I believe you can not truly move on and be free from a situation unless you forgive either that individual or yourself.  I have taught my daughter the importance of forgiving others and herself.  Patients is very good when teaching a child forgiveness.  Something I at times run low on.  Perhaps my daughter will learn to forgive me for my lack of patients.  : )

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