Forgiveness is such a great word…and action. If only we can get there. I know it is subjective; everyone has a story, one that is so different from mine, yet so similar. No one person is better, or more deserving, of forgiveness than the next. Yet….for some of us, we feel as though we will never get there! Will we? Will we ever really truly forgive?
Yes…emphatically yes! I truly believe in the possibility of forgiveness and the power of forgiveness! I know it can take time, and I know at first we are lost as to how we will ever get there! But get there we will! It takes time, it takes perseverance, and it takes love! And it takes a desire to do so.
I think the biggest mistake we make is in believing it can, or should, happen quicker than is possible! We put way too much pressure on ourselves to forgive because that is what Jesus would do, or that is what God would want, or…whatever. And I think that we forget to forgive the right person. What do I mean by that? I think in some cases (many) we are so hurt by whatever it is that created this need for forgiveness; that we forget to forgive ourselves. Yes even in cases where we were wronged we probably still need to forgive ourselves (keep reading!!)….even if the forgiveness may seem misplaced because we really have nothing to need forgiveness for! Are you following me? Sometimes we are wronged (say by assault) yet, even though the other person is obviously in the wrong; I mean a victim is and never should be blamed for violent acts against them, but try and tell that to their subconscious! Victims may feel pain that is caused from their feelings of guilt and shame associate with the assault. Now maybe it is a stretch to call this self-forgiveness, and it is definitely terrible to think of a victim needing to forgive themselves, but let us just start there. Because what really needs to happen is the victim needs to let go of the situation which is causing them to feel guilt, shame, and pain. PTSD and other emotional problems can result from violent and abusive traumas. Forgiveness and love are powerful tools on the road to recovery.
Can we just start with forgiving our-self? Forgiveness for the feelings we have associated with the trauma that was inflicted upon us by another? Yes….let it go. The guilt, the shame, the feelings of victim…..all these things that are causing us to stay in a victim mentality…..forgive our-self for them and learn to love our-self! A love so unconditional that we will rise like a phoenix out of the ashes that were once our suffering!
So lets start with us. Lets start the entire process with forgiving us our faults; whatever they may be! And accepting that we are not to blame for what happened to us. And even in cases where we have to accept a certain amount of responsibility, and there are some situations like that, we still need to love ourselves enough to say ” I am forgiven” and let it go.
And so how do we know if we have forgiven? If we have really let it go? That is easy! If it keeps coming up (in a negative way), if it keeps holding us back, if we continue to ruminate over it at times; then we have not let it go and we still have work to do! And that is OK! As long as we are conscious of the fact and willing to keep working at it!
Forgiveness will set US free! But it takes time and a powerful love for one’s self!