Have you ever felt that you can never forgive someone for what they did to you? Many people find it hard, if not impossible to forgive because they misunderstand what true forgiveness is about. Forgiveness is first for you, the forgiver. It is to release you from something that will eat you alive; that will destroy your joy and your ability to love fully and openly. When you do not forgive, you hold yourself to something that keeps you from having an open heart. Forgiveness is to let go of that which holds you back.
You might wonder if you forgive a person who hurt one of your children, do you let him play with your other children? If someone misconduct affairs in your business, do you let that person continue handling important documents? If someone did not return money owed, do you continue to lend again? This is all misunderstanding of what forgiveness means. Forgiveness does not create a relationship.
- . Relationships are based on mutual benefit. What forgiveness does is to release the hold of energy on you.
Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established. Some people say that unless the other person changes, they will never forgive that person, or that they will only forgive when the other person changes.
- Change is needed for a relationship but it isn’t necessary for forgiveness to be given.
You may wonder so forgiveness does not require you to pretend what the other person did never happened? How can you? You may have forgiven someone who wronged you greatly in the past. Will you ever forget what that person did to you? Most likely not. Forgiveness is not about denial. Forgiveness does not require you to be untrue to yourself. Forgiveness is about releasing the hold of the energy that is being bound by the situation. It is about freeing yourself to lose nothing more and to gain other good.
You may not forget a fault, but now you can love that person in the face of it. Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation. And sometimes, and this may seem incomprehensible to you right now, that road may even take you to the miracle of fully restored trust. Forgiveness opens the way rather than closing it.
You may think you understand what is being said, but it still feels like if you forgive, this person gets off free. How do you excuse what they did? Is it fair to you if you don’t stay angry with that person? Understand this: forgiveness does not excuse anything. The last thing that person is, is free. Those who did wrong are not free until they have repented. Forgiveness from other people does not free the person who is being forgiven. Their own ignorance holds them in captive until they become aware and transform.
You may ask how do you forgive that person? Tell him or her. Just say it out loud. There is power in what you declare. You may begin to whisper in tones first halfhearted and stumbling, but then with increasing conviction. “I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.” Remember that forgiveness is first for you, the forgiver. This is how you may express your forgiveness to someone who has passed away, someone you cannot meet, or someone you do not wish to meet yet.
- Declare it to yourself first in your heart.
After forgiving, you would feel such relief as though a huge burden has been lifted of your soul. You feel alive. You may ask, “So is it all right if I’m still angry?” Absolutely! What that person did was terrible. They caused incredible pain to many. It was wrong, and anger is the right response to something that is so wrong.
- But don’t let the anger and pain and loss you feel prevent you from forgiving that person and removing your hands from around his/her neck. Forgiveness is about letting go to free yourself.
Anger is the right response to something that is wrong. Forgiveness is not about denying anger. This misunderstanding about forgiveness is a core problem about why many find it hard, if not impossible to forgive. You can be angry about all the wrong in the world because it gives you the motivating force to protect yourself against it and to do things to rectify it instead. Anger is different from resentment. Anger empowers righteous action. Resentment disempowers because it holds energy with victim mind.
Sometimes it may be confusing to discern whether you harbor unforgiveness against someone or not. For example, someone repeatedly delivers the same offense over and over to you, and you’ve just grown weary of it. Since this is causing ill feelings, does this mean you’re harboring unforgiveness? Not necessarily. Once again, negative feelings are the natural and rightful response against negative things being done to you. Negative feelings are the motivating force to protect yourself and to make changes.
Sometimes you may simply have to separate yourself from the offending person in order to keep peace and to keep your own sanity. You can still pray for that person, wish him or her the best, and maybe even do a good deed once in a while. There just comes a point where enough is enough, and you’ll need to use wisdom by disassociating yourself from the offender and love him or her from a distance.
- This is called disassociation to protect and give yourself space. Create a door but not a wall.
Owner and Founder At The Goddess Bibles A Memoir By Laura Zukerman
Becoming Your Inner Goddess
Goddess of Forgiveness 🙏