Here’s a big one folks! Forgiveness! This is one of the most misunderstood concepts out there and results in an immense amount of suffering!
The first thing we need to comprehend is that forgiveness is NOT about letting the other person off the hook. It does not mean there are no consequences. It does not mean you agree with what they did or that you’re saying it’s okay that they did it.
Forgiveness is about letting yourself off the hook. It is about accepting the reality of what happened and not wasting time and energy wishing things happened differently. They didn’t happen differently, they happened the way they happened. Wishing things to have been different is completely futile, it accomplishes nothing but suffering.
All you are saying to yourself when you forgive someone else is that I accept the fact that they did this in the past, I understand that it’s impossible to go back in time and change it and I’m going to move on. You can still hold people accountable by numerous ways depending on the circumstances. You can no longer loan them money, no longer trust them with delicate information, no longer associate with them, etc., etc. The point is to accept the situation as historical fact and move on in a healthier way having learned from the experience.
Walking around with the anger inside of you is the poison that causes so much self-pain. It’s been described in many ways including:
You cannot cause other people harm by walking around angry, the anger is inside of you and you are feeling the effects, not them. If they are going to feel bad about what they did, it’s because of how they look at it, not because of how you look at it. So, cut yourself a break, forgive someone for something…anything and pay attention to how you feel inside. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll feel a relief, a peace where there used to be anger. If someone wronged you, why should you have to walk around carrying the painful feeling of it? You should be able to walk around carrying peace inside – after all you weren’t the one that did anything wrong! Forgive, free yourself and get back to enjoying the good person you are.