The Power of Forgiveness
The power of forgiveness changes everything in relationship. How many times in your life have you done something you wish you hadn’t or wished you had done something and didn’t? We all do this. Conversely, how many times have you been on the flip side of this and wished that someone would apologize for something they did or didn’t do?
Apologies and forgiveness flow hand in hand. We all make mistakes – at least if we are living life fully we do. And, I don’t think any of us ever truly intends to hurt another person, although sometimes our actions can be quite hurtful. Most often our hurtful words or actions are reactions born of our own pain. It is in these moments, when we can recognize the drive behind our actions or, in other words, the pain behind our reaction, that we can stop and apologize to the person we have just impacted with our words or actions. Our apology can change everything.
Now, when we receive a sincere apology from someone, it is then our choice whether to forgive or hold onto the pain. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we agree with or condone the other person’s behavior. It simply means that we chose not to carry the hurt or the pain forward in our bodies. It means that we can see beyond the action (or inaction) and recognize that pain was the trigger. We can look at the other person’s soul – at who they are as a human being – and forgive their soul – their humanness. We often think that forgiveness is for the other person. It is not. It is for us.
When we choose not to forgive, we chose to carry the hurt or pain that happened with us in the cells of our bodies. We are not doing the other person a favor when we forgive them. We are not hurting the other person or making them suffer when we chose not to forgive. It is only us that is set free or us that suffers. Have you ever noticed how much lighter your heart feels when you let go of the pain and forgive?
Who do you need to forgive?
The other person must deal with their own internal feelings about what they did or didn’t do and for them it is about self-forgiveness.
Self-forgiveness is an essential component of our own freedom and happiness. Have you yet to forgive yourself for something you’ve done in the past? Are you still carrying around old guilt? Your guilt isn’t helping the person you somehow hurt or impacted. It’s only holding you back from living life fully. Most often if we are carrying guilt, we are also afraid that the thing that happened in the past will happen again and we feel like that is a risk we can not take – so we hold ourselves back. We feel like it’s not safe to let go and be ourselves. This impacts our relationships because the person we are relating to never gets to see our true self.
It’s time to forgive yourself.
Forgiveness – for yourself and for others – sets us free. It allows us to leave behind the baggage of the past and create a space for a profound and wonderful future.
It’s time to forgive.
*At Ecstatic Intimacy, an all-inclusive website for singles and couples, we welcome all sexual orientation(s), gender(s) and relationship expressions. In this article we utilize the pronouns he/she/him/her.