05 28, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments
I first learnt about forgiveness when I was in school. It's mentioned in the bible and in the Lord's Prayer, but I never really understood what it was all about. I thought back then, that it was all about letting the other person off the hook; saying "I'm OK with what you did to me". I thought it was all about setting the other person free.
So therefore, over the years, there have been many things that have happened that I have not wanted to forgive. Being a person who used to hold onto stuff, this was probably even more of an issue to me than to some people. I wanted people to understand what they'd done to me - although, interestingly, I rarely actually told them. I wanted them to feel the pain that I felt. However I doubt they ever did, when I couldn't tell them how I felt. So instead, I carried around the pain and the inability to let the past go.
I've since found out that forgiveness has very little to do with the other person. It's all do do with us - setting ourselves free of the past. It is also often to do with reconciling ourselves with what we've experienced through our interaction with another person, but we do it for ourselves.
It still can be difficult. We have to understand that the other person may not have been able to do any better at that particular time in their lives. This can be challenging if their behaviour contravenes our values. However it's good to remember that we've all behaved less than impeccably at some point in our lives, even though we didn't intend to.
But that's not the hardest part. That comes next when we have to forgive our part in it. What do you mean? I hear you cry. It wasn't my fault. I didn't ask for it to happen. No, I'm sure you didn't. People rarely do ask for unpleasant things to happen to them. However there is usually emotional residue left around the fact that we let this stuff happen to us.
We can have attachment to the fact we weren't stronger or wiser or more aware; that we didn't choose to walk away; that we didn't fight back. Whatever it is, we need to forgive ourselves in order to complete the process and move on. We are on our path, just like everyone else and it is pointless to beat ourselves up for not being far enough along before the event to have the insight that the event has given us. After all, we learn and grow from the challenging experiences we have.
Once you've done all this, you will hopefully be able to see the event as just another experience of your life, that has positively made you into the person you are today.
Then you have set yourself free.