To forgive is one of the most powerful expressions of love there is. In order for forgiveness to occur, there first had to have been an incident that either caused yourself or another pain; sometimes physical, oftentimes emotional. That’s why forgiveness is so difficult. You are telling either yourself or someone else that it is okay that you were hurt, even if the hurt was on a very deep level.
So, there is a process to forgiveness. To start with, you have to admit you were hurt in the first place, which is a daunting task for many. Especially in situations where people feel they need to ‘save face’. It’s hard to admit to someone that they have the capacity of hurting you, and even harder to admit you’ve been hurting yourself. The action immediately throws down any walls you’ve built around yourself and opens your heart. Doesn’t that sound good though? So liberating. To throw down walls and open your heart.
Forgiveness can be such a basic act. I watch my eldest daughter forgive my younger one time and again for hitting her (we’re working on that). The love I see between them is amazing. I am humbled by the amount of times my husband has forgiven me for being snappy and moody with him (I’m working on that too). The love I feel between us incredible.
In yoga class a few weeks ago, my instructor gave us all a small piece of paper and a pen and asked us to write on it “I forgive ________”, then fill in the blank. She explained it could be forgiving someone else, or forgiving ourselves. I sat for a while then began to write, “I forgive Clayton for dieing.” My brother died 12 years ago in a car accident. It wasn’t his fault, it wasn’t anybody’s fault. But I was still hurting so badly and so fucking mad at him. As I was writing it, I realized I had forgiven him a long time ago, but it was so healing to write it down on paper and see it.
I hadn’t realized you could forgive for something that really wasn’t caused by anyone. But, if you were hurt, then there is a place there for forgiveness. It is the process of letting go. Someday I will forgive myself for letting my baby die. Someday I will forgive him for leaving me. I think the act of self-forgiveness may be the most powerful expression of love there is.
Sometimes forgiveness is not meant for the person you are forgiving. When you hold a grudge or a deep wound from something that happened to you because of the actions of another person, you are only hurting yourself. All the pain and resentment and sometimes hatred you feel towards that person is actually inside of you, eating away at your light. That person may not even know, or care, that you have been feeling this way. To forgive someone for their hurtful actions liberates you, not them. It allows you to say, “I’m not going to let myself feel this way, because of something you did”. Forgive so that you can move on and move back into the light, and leave them behind with the darkness. Easier said than done. But so worth it.
Forgive yourself. Forgive someone else. Do it now, and love your life.