“Forgiveness: Let go of resentments, judgments, and fears, and reduce your investment in staying hurt or angry. To forgive is to live in a world that is at peace with human nature.” Extending forgiveness to yourself and others means you drop hot coals burning inside you. Staying hurt or angry robs you of peace and ease. Resentments, judgments, and fears burn valuable energy which you could redirect toward what nourishes you. Forgiveness gives everyone more latitude to do their human best.
Sometimes forgiveness requires you to release denial or an old attachment or belief. You likely realize what you disown in yourself you often dislike in others. The flip side to this arises when you get hard on yourself while denying someone else’s misbehavior. Turning a blind eye may seem kind but not when it causes you unnecessary pain. Sometimes you have to admit hard truths about people in your life. You can forgive them for not realizing their potential and forgive yourself for believing in it for so long.
If you’re like me, self-forgiveness challenges you more than forgiving others. You may still get hooked by your self-expectations, by the idea you ought to know better and do better whereas you can more easily give others the benefit of the doubt. Holding yourself to a higher standard than everyone else may seem reasonable because at least you own your own actions but expecting to stretch beyond your humanness isolates and punishes you. Ironically isolation and punishment bring harm, often resulting in worse outcomes. Think of someone dieting who decides they might as well eat an entire cake once they’ve slipped and eaten one piece. Sometimes you need to apply forgiveness to your powerlessness, your apparent inability to ever create a lasting shift either for yourself in a case like the cake or for others such as trying to help someone committed to their suffering. You may also have to forgive yourself for doing less for people who can’t receive what you give.
Forgiveness occurs most deeply when you realize there’s nothing to forgive. Indeed we humans speak and act unforgivably at times. Yet the benevolence of the universe demonstrates how forgiveness gives you a key to unlock from the past and move toward people and thoughts which sustain and support you. Giving and receiving forgiveness becomes a gift to you and to everyone connected to you.
In what situations does forgiveness feel challenging for you? Do you have a forgiveness success story to share?
The forgiveness quote comes from The Original Angel Card Book – Inspirational Messages and Meditations by Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake.