By Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC
“Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s saying ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’ It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.”
~ Jodi Picoult
Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else.
It is something you do for yourself so you can move on and let go of the resentment, pain, hurt and possible revenge you may be feeling.
Forgiving doesn’t mean you are forgetting what happened.
It just means you are releasing the grip it has over your life and focusing on more positive facets of life for your well-being.
Forgiving does not mean you are denying the other person’s responsibility in hurting you, nor does it minimize it.
We don’t forgive for the other person. We forgive because of the value it brings to us.
To forgive means you take back control of your life and dissolve the hateful thoughts that may follow you wherever you go.
Here are some tips to help you understand how it works:
- You forgive regardless of whether the other person “deserves” to be forgiven. It is about gaining your personal power.
- You experience a kind of emotional and spiritual peace and healing when you forgive. The offense loses its power over you and stops being the object of all your thoughts.
- When you forgive, you give up playing the powerless role of victim.
- The sense of release enables you to rise above the painful event and move it into your personal history, not part of your future life.
- Forgiveness is a decision you make. That decision frees you to heal and gives you permission to dissolve the negative emotions associated with that other person.
To help in the process, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I worth more than the resentment I am harboring? How do you know?
- Can I take 100% responsibility for choosing to feel the way I do? Why?
- Is joy and happiness a possibility for me?
- How much effort am i willing to put into freeing myself of this burden?
- Am I ready now?
Unless you forgive others (and even yourself), the feelings of resentment, hurt and humiliation will continue to be an active part in your life.
The choice is yours to make and once you do, this personal power and growth will impact your life in a positive and joyful way!
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com