Forgiveness always seemed like such a simple concept as a kid. Your little sister hits you over the head, like you’re a Piñata, with a 2’ long solid wooden baton and your father insists that she apologize. Through the throbbing pain and tears you are forced to accept her apology or you will be in trouble. Of course she is only 5 years old and she “didn’t mean it”. I’m sure it has nothing to do with her being the baby of the family and can do no wrong. We won’t mention the hidden threats and scowl that I will pay for that one day because she got in trouble.
Although we really do look back on this and laugh now, forgiveness is really not so funny a thing. We were always taught as children that we have to apologize when we hurt someone and that we have to accept others’ apologies when they hurt us.
There are also those things that we are not taught as kids about forgiveness. One of those things is that giving forgiveness is really for us and for our benefit. By not forgiving them we are allowing them to hurt us every day that we hold onto that hurt and pain they caused us to begin with. We are allowing them to hold real estate in our heart and mind that they do not deserve. By forgiving them we are taking back out lives, freeing ourselves of that burden, of that hurt and pain that has been holding us down and holding us back.
We will not hurt them by not forgiving them. Whether or not we forgive them will often times not affect them one way or another. It’s pretty safe to say that in most wrongs the wrongdoers won’t be losing any sleep about whether or not we can or will ever forgive them.
I am not saying by any means that we have to forget. But once we can truly forgive them we can move on and get past it. In the long run we will be that much stronger and that much wiser. We Live and Learn.
The second thing we were never taught is how to forgive ourselves for what we feel are our own wrongdoings. Sometimes we need to accept that we can’t change our past no matter how badly we want to. We can waste days, weeks, months and sometimes years beating ourselves up and dwelling on the things that we may have done in the past. But that won’t change anything, no matter how much we beat ourselves up or try to punish ourselves.
Sometimes we just need to forgive ourselves. We need to accept the fact that we all make mistakes in life, we live and we learn, and give ourselves permission to truly forgive ourselves. Without our own forgiveness we will not be able move on in life and be happy deep down. We will continue to hold ourselves back and be stuck.
Are you going to forgive so you can move on or remain stuck and dwelling on the past that you can not change?