Yes, exactly. Forgiveness is not what you give to others. No. Forgiveness is something you do FOR YOURSELF.
I still have a lot to learn on this but I thought I’d share with you what I have been experimenting personally, hoping this will help some of you on your own journeys as well.
I have always been quite hard on myself, accepting only the best and beating myself down whenever I was doing something wrong or whenever I wasn’t reaching my own expectations. Because I was so severe with myself, I was also as severe with the others. My close friends and family call me sometimes “The Dictator” because of my way of telling them things…. And my explanation for that is simple: I only want the best for them, and I can not stand seeing them making choices that will not help them be at their best. So sometimes I can sound quite harsh and strict but it actually comes from a deep will of not seeing anyone hurt or fail…
But life is not as easy and often, you get disappointed. Disappointed by yourself, disappointed by the others. And what happens is that you get angry, resentful, or sometimes fearful or ashamed: “I told you…”, or “why did you do that…” or “How on earth did you get there…”. Those are thoughts that you might tell yourself, as well as tell other people. Whatever the emotion is that comes out from it, it is really important to acknowledge it, understand it and let it go.
It took me time to understand how much I needed to forgive. Forgive myself first. Forgive myself for not being perfect, for not being that Wonder Woman I wish I was. Forgiving myself for my flaws and for the many mistakes I have done. Forgiving myself for hurting people sometimes, and for hurting myself as well. And in order to forgive myself, I had to start digging deep into myself and discover who I really am. When you know who you are, you understand better your reactions, and you can manage some difficult situations much better. And usually, the more you realise who you truly are, the more… you love yourself. When you understand where your deep struggles come from, everything makes so much more sense. And yes, you actually start loving yourself, as if you were discovering a new friend.
I have always heard and read about that but I never really understood what it really meant, until I actually had to go through it all myself. At one point, I had no choice anymore but facing my true reality, accepting what was going on, what went wrong, and just learn from it and move on. Staying stuck in the past doesn’t take you anywhere. Life is movement. Go forward, don’t hold on to the past: you can’t change it anymore. Use it as a good experiment, learn from it and use it so that you become a better person every single day. By being more kind to yourself, it is incredible how you become more understanding with anyone else.
We all have had some problems / fights / issues with some specific persons around us, and we somehow know we didn’t get over some things that happened, we just can not forget about it. Whatever it was, it might come back to your head from times to times, and you can still feel this feeling of anger, disappointment, or sadness because of what a person did. Well this is exactly when it is highly important to FORGIVE. Don’t stay with such a negative emotion stuck inside of you. Be loving and kind with them, whatever they did. By forgiving them, you liberate yourself from this heavy weight inside of you. To forgive is the only way to move on. You don’t need to forget and we are not saying you should do as if nothing happened. It’s just a matter of truly, deeply forgiving, feeling the love inside of you rather than anger, or fear, or shame. It is difficult and maybe it can appear impossible. But by meditating on it, spending time thinking of this, you can slowly let the love inside replace those negative emotions.
Again, I only understood it when I accepted to face those emotions that were stuck in me. It was hard, it was tough, a lot of tears were coming out, but it was so liberating. Accepting to face them made me realise how stuck they were in me, even if I wouldn’t feel them all the time. I was not depressed, never been a sad girl. But negative emotions of anger and shame did were inside of me and I had to accept to go down there and acknowledge them to actually let them go. This requires lots of inner work, but honestly, there is nothing more empowering than this.
Today I can say that yes, I have been living with stuck emotions inside of me for years and years, without really realizing it. The day I accepted to face them, I felt liberated almost instantly. I loved myself so much more, for who I was, for who I have always been, for the woman I am, exactly as she is. Everything made so much more sense. Facing these inner blockages gave me wings to fly and make a big jump forward. I learned to love myself more than ever before, and as importantly, I learned to forgive, from the bottom of my heart. Yes, I forgave things that I thought I would never be able to forgive. And doing it fills you with so much love, that you feel amazing. I haven’t even told the person I forgave what happened, because this is not really necessary. Again, when you forgive, you do it for yourself. The people will feel it, but you don’t need to make a whole discussion about it. Love doesn’t need words.
I am writing this hoping this can help some people realise some things in their own life. There is no need to hold on to bad feelings. Make your life a better place to be by fulfilling it with positive thoughts, positive feelings and emotions, positive energy.
In Love and Happiness,