“Forgive, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace“.
This can be a hard pill to swallow for many for a number of reasons. We are so prone to evaluating what is forgivable versus what is not. In other words, people determine what is forgivable based on their perception and to what extent harm has been done. I know for me personally this lesson is still in progress but I have improved tremendously. That is what life is all about; living and learning. In the midst of living and learning there are a plethora of mistakes to be made. These mistakes can be perceived as learning experiences and opportunities to grow or as a sign of defeat as in you have been defeated with no chance of renewing yourself. Everyone is at different points in their life journey. Some may be ready to accept mistakes as opportunities for growth while others while others do not.
Understand and know that learning from mistakes is essential to survival. Some people are not at a point where they are ready to receive these life lessons as a contribution to their personal growth. Never mind the fact that some just don’t acknowledge their mistakes because they don’t see the “wrong” in what they do. Sometimes people just do not want to admit they are wrong because of ego or other factors that get in the way. It’s not always about ego though. Some find it difficult to accept reality because it can be tough. Reality may consist of them coming to grips with their past and that can put people in an extremely uncomfortable position.
Most people choose to ignore the past because it is just too painful to revisit those traumatic yet crucial times in life. At times it is unavoidable because the past creeps into the present inevitably by way of triggers. These triggers can be a real bitch but it truly pays off in the long run to learn how to cope with the harsh realities of life. Part of coping is learning to forgive. No one is saying that you have to forget or erase the memories completely.
Forgiving is a way to be set free by unleashing yourself from the choke hold of your problems. Technically, you are bound to your problems until you separate yourself completely. It starts with forgiveness and includes facing the past. In terms of our behavior and the way we perceive things, past experience plays a significant part. So, we must evaluate our behavior and past experiences as they relate to our current problems.
Some think there must be an admittance of fault from the other person for forgiveness to occur. Not necessarily. As mentioned before not everyone is ready to accept that what they did was “wrong”. Ultimately, we have a choice to make. Either we let our problems keep us stagnant by stunting our happiness and peace or we accept them as challenging parts of life that do not define us but help us grow. When it comes to forgiveness think of it like this: Holding a grudge or bitterness is deadweight and serves no purpose to you. The deadweight is only a burden and interferes with your inner peace. When it comes to forgiveness, would you rather let go of that deadweight or hold onto it?
Not to mention holding onto things can potentially cause all kinds of stress which affects you mentally, emotionally, behaviorally, and physically. Most of the time, people have no idea this is happening to them until they become ill but I’ll save that discussion for another post.