Forgiveness. These eleven letters hold the secret to unlocking peace in your life. How often have you said “I forgive you?” without meaning it? Have you ever told yourself that someone else isn’t worthy of your forgiveness? Did you then feel burdened by your choice? On the surface, it seems as though forgiving someone is about that person. Forgiveness is more than just agreeing not to carry a grudge or to not bring up an issue. It is also letting go of your pain.
For many people, the act of forgiveness is beyond difficult. To take it a step further, even considering to forgive another individual is hard. It can help to remember that forgiveness is about today and who you are in this moment. Forgiving another individual doesn’t discard or discount the pain you felt or the issues you experienced. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what you went through wasn’t real. What forgiveness does is it allows you to become free from the burden of that pain in the present. Holding onto that pain, reliving the situation and blaming the other individual is not helpful in any way. Continuing to rehash that pain gives it power and the ability to continue to be harmful in our lives. Forgiveness sets us free.
As hard as forgiving others is, it gets harder. Unfortunately, we are much less likely to be forgiving to ourselves than we are to forgive others. Choosing not to be stingy in your forgiveness extends to forgiving yourself. In fact, forgiveness may be the most important part of self-care. Our thoughts, particularly our thoughts about ourselves, determine so much in our lives. When you’re holding onto negative feelings or guilt about your life choices it can impact every action you take. Those feelings of guilt can fester and grow, becoming negative thoughts that can touch every part of your life.
Women who have not forgiven themselves often find themselves with a negative state of mind. They may feel as though they’re not deserving of positive things – including the opportunity to relax and recharge. It is extremely difficult to take care of a person who you think is unforgivable, even if that person is yourself. There are many ways to address self-forgiveness including:
- Acknowledging that there are things you need to forgive yourself for
- Accepting that mistakes do not mean you’re a bad person
- Allow yourself a chance for a fresh start
Taking the step to forgive yourself can have a ripple effect of positivity throughout your life.