The only true way to free ourselves from a person or situation that has caused us pain and to truly begin to heal is through forgiveness. By carrying a grudge and holding onto the the belief that the person who wronged us doesn't deserve our forgiveness means we are operating from our ego. To really function from the divine that is within all of us we need to give sincere, heartfelt forgiveness. Remember to err is human - to forgive devine.
I learnt many years ago that forgiveness doesn't mean that you accept or approve of that persons behaviour - it just means that we choose to let go of our stance that prevents us from living at peace with ourselves and others. Forgiveness isn't about whether that person "deserves" to be forgiven - it's about you deserving to have freedom and peace that can only come from letting go. It's about releasing the negativity that holds us to our past pain - that's not the same as forgetting. Resentment is toxic and it causes us to suffer even further. By genuinely forgiving we learn to detach from the person who caused the pain which then releases us from the prison of emotions that we have created for ourselves.
There doesn't seem to be a magic formula to forgiving and healing the relationships in our lives. However, being truly open to forgiving can do more than just heal a relationship - it can heal our hearts. The other wonderful things about forgiveness is that we can do it on our own. The person may have died or may simply not be present in our lives - that's ok - forgiveness is still possible. We don't have to have the other persons knowledge, understanding, or cooperation - what we need is the sincere desire to forgive past hurts and to heal our pain.
When something awful happened to me several years ago a friend told me that the only way I could have peace and move forward in my life was to genuinely forgive this person. At the time I thought that forgiveness meant that you had no hard feeling towards them - and if that was the case then you should still continue to be friends with them -after all if you don't have a grudge then why should you have an issue with them being in your life. I couldn't understand why this didn't give me any peace until I realised that forgiveness does not mean we have to invite an abusive person back into our lives. Forgiveness means clearing the residual effects of the pain that we still carry buried deeply within us. As said we must forgive others not because they necessarily deserve to be forgiven but for our own sake - to set ourselves free.
Sometimes the hardest person of all to forgive is ourselves. We can be far harder on ourselves than we are on other people. The feelings of guilt and shame that we can carry with us when we feel that we have disappointed a loved one can be overwhelming.
Hate is a far stronger karmic tie than love and maintaining hate and lack of forgiveness is the fastest way to ensure that we receive the same pattern of energy over and over again. Even thought the person we hated may have left our lives if we haven't learnt the lessons and the art of forgiveness we will continue to attract the same type of person over and over again.
There is a lightness of spirit that comes from forgiveness - it is a gift that you give yourself. As said the other week we always have choices - we have the option and power to forgive - to release ourselves from a prison of negative emotions - to let go of the anger and resentment - to live in peace - the choice is ours.
“Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” - Sara Paddison
The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. – Marianne Williamson