Oprah Winfrey once stated, “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that things could have been different …then moving on.”
Forgiveness can be; offered in person, in the form of a written letter, said in your mind with a positive intent, difficult to do, healing, a burden released, good for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. I am certain there are more ideas that can be added to the list.
Forgiveness is NOT forgetting what happened; it is letting go of the anger, regret or what weighs heavy on your heart. Forgiveness is NOT for the benefit of someone else, but is offered to benefit YOU.
There are those who want revenge on wrongs done to them or others. Having an individual jailed or be accountable in some way may be important and the court system can do its part in this matter. Holding someone to blame or to continuously beat up on in your mind eventually takes a toll on a person.
I remember hearing the comment that they are living rent free in someone else’s mind. This was a reference from an individual knowing another person was upset with them for some reason.
When I say forgiveness is for YOU, I also acknowledge the fact that in many cases we and I mean “WE” need to forgive ourselves for all the things we wish we could have done differently. We cannot change what has been done, but we can choose to be different as we move forward in life.
Forgiveness is given without the expectation of getting an apology or a response.
Sometimes, the individual you want to forgive does not know they have caused the pain you are experiencing or the individual you want to forgive is no longer able to hear or receive your forgiveness. For some people, forgiveness may seem unthinkable.
For many individuals it takes courage and strength to find forgiveness as mentioned in a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
Expect emotions and feelings to come to the surface when issues surrounding forgiveness are taken off of the shelf and looked at. Sharing your thoughts with someone or writing them in a journal may help.
Being aware of what we are grateful for in life is a way of changing unforgiveness. Are you open to receiving or giving forgiveness?
The next article is about “Children and Grief”