Health and Well-Being Month: Week Three – Day Seven
Forgiveness – how do we do it?
Can we do it?
Yes. The question is do you want to do it?
Forgiving those who have hurt you immensely is a difficult task, especially if it involves any kind of abuse.
We often still feel vindicated, victimised, outraged, and we usually want some form of revenge to release the injustice done to us. Unfortunately life may not offer that to us – which could, in essence, work out to be a blessing! As the Dalai Lama once said “Sometimes not getting what we want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” Is this person really worth possible jail time? Are they worth the continued damage to your life? In short, no.
You are worth more than that.
Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behaviour. Forgiveness prevents their behaviour from destroying your heart. – Anon
Forgiveness does mean viewing the person who hurt us as a human being, and as someone who does have the capacity to be good. This can be a hard pill to swallow and for some this may be the step that you balk at and refuse to acknowledge. However, without that acknowledgement, it becomes impossible for you to completely let go of the hurt. You have to be willing to change your perspective so that you can move forward.
What are the benefits of this?
- You could be breaking a cycle of abuse — this is extremely important. Some people only know abuse, and you can only pass on what you know. You may be the person who has decided to take back control because you don’t want anyone to feel the way you felt. You can be the person to save more heartache at the hands of abuse.
- It’s an act of compassion — it’s compassion for the person who hurt you, but most importantly it’s an act of compassion for yourself. You cannot move forward if you’re tightly grasping the chain of the anchor. It’s simply not good for you. These people played a role and their exit cue has been called.
- It allows you to move forward — this is your chance to move towards a life free from hurt, and to create a new beginning. This is your chance to forgive yourself for allowing this person to continue hurting you and to continue having an element of control over you. Once you let go of that anger and allow forgiveness in, you’ll notice other doors start to open for you. You have created space for the universe to give you more positive energy.
You are no longer bound by your past. It may have shaped some parts of you, but it is NOT you. You are deserving of greatness and happiness, and the act of forgiveness and letting go will nudge you towards this. Embrace your power. You have survived, now go and thrive!
You never know, this could inspire you to reach out to others who have had similar experiences, and that act of reaching out could save many people. You could be the one that helps release them from their jail.
How do we forgive and let go?
It’s difficult. Different tasks work for different people. I remember reading something about forgiveness and thinking about who I needed to forgive and it just happened. It was very very surprising for me. I expected it to be harder. I have however, found the act of letting go a little harder, but I am receiving help with that.
Below are a few ideas of what may work for you:
- Counselling — the most obvious one. I would recommend going to a counsellor if you’ve been through a tough time. Talking it through with an impartial and non-judgmental person will really help. Our friends and family – as great as they are – have already built an image of us. Our counsellor will do no such thing. We are a blank slate and we can tell our story how we want. We can be ugly about it, we can have our breakdowns and breakthroughs and we can come out the other side healthier for it.
- Write a letter — I know! I’m always blabbing on about writing a letter, but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think it would work! Lay it all out in that letter. Hold nothing back. Express yourself fully and authentically. Say what you never had the chance to say.
- Go to a martial arts class — if you’re like me, you need to physically release anger. However, we need to be sure we’re doing this in a safe and supportive environment. These classes will allow you to express that anger and literally get it out of your system, and – added bonus – you learn a new skill in the process!
- Meditate — yes. Sit in silence and ruminate. Extend loving energy out to those who hurt you and say to them “I no longer give you the power to control me. I am free of you.” Allow the experience to unfold, but don’t grasp onto it. View it from the perspective of a non-judgmental observer. No-one has the power to make you feel uncomfortable unless you give them permission to. Now, this won’t work for everyone, but I do think it’s an excellent add-on to the other tasks. It will give us the chance to centre and ground ourselves.
Forgiveness is one of the biggest acts of compassion we can perform. In fact I’d say it’s THE biggest act. It takes a lot for us to get there, so to be able to forgive really does show us how much we’ve grown. It’s an essential part of the spiritual journey. It’s not the nicest part, but it is one of the most significant deeds we can do for ourselves.
That brings us to the end of week three and our focus on spiritual health. I hope the posts this week have allowed you to connect with the universe and with yourself on a deeper level. Each activity was devised so that you were able explore different areas of connection to find what works for you. Remember, it’s an on-going process. I like to think of it as a spiral. I often find myself in what seems to be the same situation but at a different point in time, however, I now have the insight to see that I haven’t quite learned all I needed to or there’s something else I need to let go of. We are always progressing, and we’re always doing our best. We can’t ask for anything more from ourselves.
Be happy. Be you.