How To Forgive, and Why It Is Important
In this article we will look at:
- What forgiveness is
- Why it is beneficial and important
- How to cultivate forgiveness
These lessons are very relevant to my own life, as two people close to me hurt me quite a lot. I held a lot of anger and resentment for a couple of weeks. It hurt my psyche and energy-body to harbour such ill feelings. But then I made a breakthrough, which helped me to shine the light of forgiveness, compassion and love. As soon as I cultivated forgiveness, I myself was healed. And I’m sure it helped my two loved ones as well.
Forgiveness can have two main definitions. One is focused on an “event”, and the other is focused around a “person”.
The definition of forgiveness as it relates to an event could be:
- The letting go of negative emotions and mindsets around an event, because even though the event triggered us, we can still be THANKFUL that the event occurred at all. In other words, the experience DID gives us goodness and growth, even though it was painful initially.
The other definition which is more focused on people, and also more powerful in my opinion, is:
- To drop ill will towards a person, and instead give them your love and well-wishes.
It should be noted that forgiveness cannot always be “rushed”. We cannot jump straight to forgiveness before it is authentic. Sometimes we may need to hold onto anger and resentment for some period of time. It is healthy to express our boundaries. But it is also helpful to keep in mind, that somewhere down the line there will be the unfoldment of forgiveness, and we welcome that process. We know that it will heal us. So in short, be angry/resentful for as long as you need, but know forgiveness is around the corner.
How can we forgive? What truly worked for me, was learning the perspective of the person who hurt me. Quite syncronistically, I stumbled upon information about their condition, which put into context some of their behaviours and symptoms.
There is an old saying which goes something like, “If you truly understood everything another person was going though, then you would probably do the exact same thing as them”.
Alain_de_Bottom from School of Life has said that the questionable behaviours of others often come from fear and ignorance, more so than evil contempt. “Forgive them for they know not what they do”.
In short, the key to forgiveness is understanding the other. Learn their perspective. Empathise with the challenges that THEY are going though. This softens the heart and gives way to compassion.
You can still have personal boundaries, of what you are willing to stand for vs not stand for in your life. Those who continually cross boundaries can be shown the door. But in either case, you can still hold love and compassion for someone, true well-wishing, even if you show them the door or let them stay.
Why is forgiveness so good? In my experience, it creates an instantaneous Healing within the forgiver. Holding onto anger, resentment and sadness is damaging. It is a toxic elixir of emotions, which create stress and cell damage. When we truly make the breakthrough to forgiveness and compassion, we evaporate that tension. A pleasantness ensues. Such is healing.
Good luck in forgiving people and events in your life. Learn the perspective of others, and see that you would do what they have done, if you were in their shoes. Be thankful for the goodness of life events, even if they caused pain initially. May the light of forgiveness fill you with healing and goodness.