What it takes to forgive and why it’s worth it
Forgiveness is often seen as a sign of weakness. But in reality, forgiveness is a strength. It takes courage to forgive someone who has hurt you. And it takes even more courage to forgive yourself.
To absolve someone from any hurt they have caused us is a spiritual practice that can lead to emotional and psychological healing.
When we forgive, we release ourselves from the past and open up to new possibilities in the present. We also develop greater emotional intelligence and self-awareness.
The process to forgive is not always easy. But it is worth it. It can lead to greater peace, happiness, and wholeness in our lives.
Why it’s healthy to let go
Forgiveness is good for our mental and physical health. It can lower stress levels, improve our immune system, and help us to let go of anger and resentment.
It can also lead to healthier relationships. When we forgive, we are more likely to be forgiven by others. We also develop greater empathy and compassion for others.
My Decision to Forgive and Choose Love
How do we heal in an environment where the hurt is so deliberate and targeted directly at us?
This is the case with my circumstances. The man I loved for decades seems to have made it his mission to rob me of a relationship with my adult children and grandchildren as “payback” for leaving our unhappy and extremely toxic relationship where he had another woman in the bed with us – for years!
I didn’t realize, at the time, I was working my way up the Scale of Consciousness, as described by the late Dr. David Hawkins. Until I found my COURAGE, I was existing on a level of consciousness that was contracted, fear-based and largely one of apathy, grief, guilt and shame.
On our scale of consciousness, there are two critical points or main developmental hurdles. These are at 200 (courage) and 500 (love).
Finding my courage allowed me to walk out the door in search of a better life for myself. Getting myself to that point of courage took years, given that I was in this oppressive, co-dependent relationship with my then-husband. Despite knowing he’d been repeatedly cheating and lying. I elected to stay hoping that if I changed, he would change and we’d discover a healthy love for each other. That never happened. And I surrendered almost a decade of my best years locked into this lower vibrational energy. Nothing good (for me) was ever going to come from it.
I’ve done the work in the three years since to arrive at a state of love and forgiveness for those who hurt me in the past. And forgiven for what they may seek to inflict on me into the future.
Mind you, the road to get here is littered with a shedding of aspects of me that are ego-centric and tell a story of loss and betrayal. That’s no longer my story. I’m not broken – nor am I bitter. I’m unfolding … into a world where love, forgiveness, and the pursuit of joy provide a ladder to ascend above the drama of my life.
Here are some steps to healing
1. Acknowledge the hurt.
2. Feel your feelings.
3. Release the resentment.
4. Make a decision to forgive.
5. Let go and move on.
You don’t have to do it all at once. Forgiveness is a journey, not a destination. Take your time, and be gentle with yourself.
What if the person who hurt me doesn’t apologize?
You can still forgive without an apology from the other person. In fact, forgiveness is often more about us than it is about them.
When we forgive, we are releasing ourselves from the past and opening up to new possibilities in the present. So even if the other person never apologizes, forgiveness can still lead to healing and growth for us.
Things you can do if you’re struggling
- Talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you work through your feelings.
- Read books or articles. This can help you to better understand the concept and how it can benefit you.
- Join a forgiveness support group. This can provide you with guidance and support from others who are on the forgiveness journey.
Ready to start your journey?
If you’re ready to start forgiveness work, here are some resources to help you get started:
- The Forgiveness Project: This UK-based charity has stories of forgiveness from people all over the world.
- Forgiveness is a Choice: This book by Dr. Robert Enright is a comprehensive guide to the forgiveness process.
- The Forgive for Good Workbook: This workbook by Dr. Fred Luskin walks you through the process step-by-step.
No matter what your story is, forgiveness is possible. You are not alone on this journey. There is help and support available.
Trust that you will get there in your own time and in your own way.
Wishing you lots of love and light on your journey.