© Chessie Roberts 2009 All rights reserved, used on Blogspot.com by permission
What is your idea of forgiveness? Is it you in all your glory coming down from on high to bestow your benevolence upon some poor slob who has offended you? Maybe it is you confronting the person and letting them know in no uncertain terms that you are the better person because you have decided, at great sacrifice to you, to forgive them. Perhaps you forgive them to shut them up and make them go away or to make the other person feel bad for ‘what they did’. None of these examples are forgiveness.
Truth is that forgiveness has nothing to do with the person you are forgiving (unless it is yourself) but has everything to do with you and who is in control of ‘you.’
What? You ask. Let’s break it down a bit. If you are emotionally invested in a situation, that situation is what is holding your power. That situation is draining your energy because it takes a great deal of energy to stay angry. You feel like a victim of the circumstance and like someone else is in control. It also is calling your attention to focus on it ( the unfairness of the situation ect.) rather than other, more important things. It is sort of like a lamp; when you plug it into the socket the connection causes the electricity to go to the light bulb. Let’s call the bulb your anger that sustains the grudge, the plug is where you choose to put your energy and the entire lamp is who holds your power. How do you get your power back? Just unplug from the situation. You take back your energy that has been making the situation stronger and you weaker and presto, the grudge disappears and the person you were angry with has no more control over your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Here is the neat part, that person, whoever they may be, doesn’t have to have any idea that you have forgiven them. Of course if it is a close friend and you want to keep the relationship alive, you would want to talk it over with them. If, however, it is someone whom you do not know or have no personal relationship with then chances are they are not aware that they hurt your feelings in the first place.
An exception to them not realizing they did damage would be in the case of a crime having committed against you or someone you love. That is a bit harder to forgive but I tell you from experience that it can be done and you will be the better for having done it. Once you claim ‘you’ and take back what is rightfully yours, you stop feeling like a victim and begin to stand in your own power. That is when you start to heal and are able to help both yourself and others do the same thing.
I had an occasion to speak to some inmates in a federal prison once. Their excuse was that something bad had been done to them when they were younger so they now had no control over what they did to others. I will tell you now what I told them then; nothing can happen to you that is so terrible that truly forgiving the other person and yourself will not make better. To heal from anything, you must begin by forgiving. Things happen and we make bad choices but if we learn from them, forgive and move forward, we will grow and perceiver.
Bright Blessings Chessie
“We are not meant to mourn traumas for more than a short time.” Carolyn Myss
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