Forgiving, it shouldn’t be so difficult, but…
I’m sure forgiving is not a word you like… it makes you feel weak in a world where only the strongest thrive. And I’m sure forgiving is not a verb you like… because you believe that in order to forgive you need to accept what you have been a victim of.
When I introduce people to the incredible power of forgiveness in their life, they are usually very sceptical.
Perhaps then I should use a different expression for making you understand the true and profound value of this act. Forgiving is nothing different from “letting go” or “stopping giving attention to something”.
When you truly forgive someone intellectually AND emotionally, you stop being engaged in what happened. It is like cutting a cord, a link, a bond with that situation and/or person.
Why is forgiving so important then? Because it liberates you. It literally gives you freedom from that happening and that person, so they cannot affect you anymore. Forgiving is the greatest gift you can give yourself because it gives you back full power over your life.
When you are emotionally attached to something you continually give it part of your daily energy; this is like leaving a tap on: you pay the bill for it and you deplete your resources.
Forgiving is a profound act of wisdom regarding your life. When you forgive you let go the attachment and that situation is closed forever. You don’t need to be a saint to forgive, you just have to care enough about your life. This is an act of love FOR YOU.
Neuroscience has taught us that in giving attention we select and filter what gets into our life because our brain uses focus to filter and create our reality. We get what we focus on and what we give our attention to grows. In this way, it is foolish to keep your attention on what gives you pain. Don’t you agree?
Why then not ask yourself which memories and persons keep your energy and your life stuck? Lift that weight. Let it go, for you, not for them. You will experience such a rush of vitality and energy if you do so and new things and opportunities will more easily enter your life because now your attention is free to see them. When you are obsessed with the past you lose sight of everything else and your life cannot flow.
Forgiving doesn’t mean accepting and condoning, it means moving away from whatever it was that hurt you. Then you can choose what to do next from a place of deep respect for yourself. Forgiving is taking responsibility for your emotions and choices, it is not an act of telling anything to anyone. In fact it is not even necessary to talk to the ones that hurt you. You can deliberately forgive them in your heart and in your thoughts; words will make the statement stronger, but they are not necessary if, in true honesty, you do so inside yourself with your whole heart.
And, just to put things in the correct perspective: those who can forgive and let go are, in truth, much stronger than anyone else. Indeed, forgiving shouldn’t be difficult if you love and respect yourself.
(Picture courtesy of Flickr - Nao Kitano)