Forgiveness – A Challenge
The most important thing we can do to better our lives and take a step towards growth is to forgive. Not only to forgive others but also learn to forgive ourselves.
Why is this important, you ask?
There is a quote that goes:
“Resentment is like drinking poison
and waiting for the other person to die.”
This quote describes really well that when we have a hard time forgiving ourselves or forgiving others, we linger on to the past. We have a hard time letting go of what has happened and when we hold on to the past, we can’t focus on the present or on creating a better future.
Many times in my sessions, I see how difficult (almost impossible) it is for my clients to forgive themselves.
Often we are not in touch with our inner selves or have any idea about how important this relationship is.
If there is any relationship we should work on, it should definitely be the one we have with ourselves.
Instead, we are more hateful, critical and harsh towards our own persona then we would ever be towards others.
A lot of the issues arise in childhood when we have been told or something has happened to us, that have convinced us, that we are not good enough, that others are better or smarter than us.
Listening to this sort of negative talk in our mind over and over again makes us believe that this is the truth.
This negative belief grows into insecurity and these insecurities become our inner voice, a part of us and we start believing that this is how we are wired.
Every time we make a decision or make a change, we start doubting ourselves and sometimes we don’t go through with it.
Not being able to live to our fullest potential creates frustration and anger towards ourselves, and a downward spiral begins. We start to put up unrealistic goals and criteria’s. When we do not reach them, we conclude that its because we don’t deserve it or because we are not good enough.
When we are younger we don’t know better than to believe what our surroundings are telling us.
But as we get older we have the knowledge and opportunity to know better and change our way of thinking.
When we are feeling bad or things in our life aren’t working out, we tend to lash out and blame others around us, be it parents, friends or strangers.
Everything that happens to us comes from us. If we have a tendency to get angry easily, we will attract people or situations that will provoke that. If we don’t feel that we are good enough, we will attract people who feel the same way and who will help us stay there.
Read more about the importance of having supporting people in your life.
There is this sweet pain in feeling bad about ourselves, to stay in that autopilot mode. We want to stay ignorant about the control we have of our life. We want to stay where things keep happening to us, and we cant do anything to change it.
The good news is that regardless of what we have been through we are not stuck in a twilight zone. We can move on and we can change our mindset, we can love ourselves and create a better future.
All it takes is that we work on ourselves and start with forgiveness.
Forgive people for the hurt they caused us, forgive ourselves for all the things we dislike about us. This is the first step towards accepting ourselves as we are.
What makes foregiveness hard? We don’t want to lose face or let the other person know that they did us wrong. Forgiving ourselves also becomes a problem, often we don’t know where to start.
We can carry a grudge for so long that we don’t even remember what it was about because we still have a hard time letting go.
The only person in this scenario we are punishing, is ourselves. We use so much energy thinking about the wrong that has happened to us that we get angry, depressed or bitter.
By letting go, we are releasing ourselves from pain.
When we dare to be honest and look at ourselves for who we really are, that’s where our burden becomes lighter and we are closer to acceptance.
Forgiveness doesn’t happen in a day, it’s a process that takes time and patience.
What we can do to come close to letting go is:
If you are hurt, angry, disappointed or sad, don’t hold back.
Let yourself feel what you need to feel.
If you are angry, dare to react. Yell, scream, be pissed, talk to somebody, write it down, cry it out.
Allow yourself to feel whatever that you need to feel and get it out, give yourself time to process the hurt you just been through. It will make it easier to let go.
Observe your thoughts
Look at your thoughts: what are you thinking, where is your mind wandering off. Are you thinking good thoughts or bad thoughts?
If past bitterness or hurt come up, observe your feelings, but don’t dwell on them, take control!
Ask yourself; “is this making me feel good or bad?”
If it doesn’t make you feel good, release the thought: think of something else, go for a walk, do something to occupy your mind.
It will take time, so whenever you are about to dwell, remind yourself that you are still in the process of letting go.
like the author of The article; 3 Unconventional Tips For Forgiving And Letting Go writes ” “Wow, am I really still working through that?” Almost as if I were a bystander.”
It takes two to tango
Have you ever thought about why this is bothering you so much?
Why does this make you mad?
Often when we carry a grudge towards others, the cause might be lying within us.
We get pissed at this person because this person made us feel a certain way.
We might feel betrayed by this person or feel stupid, hurt, neglected, insecure, there can be many reasons.
But for all of these causes, the reason lies within us. If we don’t feel we are good enough, we will let others words or behavior get to us.
This, on the other hand, doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves and we start doubting and dislike ourselves very much.
Read more about the importance of loving yourself.
What you can do is accept that this is bothering you, and find the cause for why it is bothering you.
It could be that you are feeling that your friend has forgotten you and moved on.
Accept that the friend has moved on and that you have grown apart, even though you might not be ready to let go. Instead, use your focus and energy on appreciating the people that are still in your life and who love you for who you are.
Should you think about your friend, instead of getting sad or mad, send her loving thought and wish her all the best.
This will take some time to get used to, but with time you will not resent that person nor yourself anymore and who knows maybe sometime in the future your path may crosses again.
Remember when you forgive, you release yourself and take back the power.
When you take control, you bring back peace of mind, happiness, and healing to yourself.