Blog · Personal Growth

Forgiveness Brings Freedom

To bring about peace and resolution to the situation, you must allow forgiveness. This is not always easy to do. One reason this is challenging – we strongly identify with the perceived suffering inflicted on us. That ‘suffering’ may be feelings of hurt and pain, embarrassment, rejection, betrayal, abandonment, and other emotions. These are all based on our own fears.

You take on the role of being the victim – the person who was wounded and treated wrongly in some way. That perspective of ‘someone did this to me.’ Whether someone did something or not is not the point. The main point is how you see it, how you perceive it.

For example, you walk down the aisle in the supermarket looking for an item, and someone knocks into you. You did not actually see that person knock into you as they went by, but you felt it. How are you going to see it? Did that person deliberately bang into you to cause you harm? Maybe. Did they do it unintentionally, and it was an accident? Could be. Did you knock into them unintentionally? Another thought.

The point is how you perceive what happened and how you react to it. 

If you choose victim mentality, you harbor feelings of anger, resentment, mistrust and blame others for the entire situation. There are always two sides to the story. So, what was the part you played in the scenario? Do you recognize it?

If you harbor negative feelings of bitterness in your heart against anyone else or yourself, you only hurt yourself because you are the one choosing to hang on to the negative, hurtful feelings. It weighs on you, drags you down on a conscious or unconscious level. It leaves wounds and scars in your energetic field. It is necessary to release it and let it go. Again, not always easy.

If you can’t let it go and let it heal, ask yourself, “What am I getting out of this? I must be getting something out of it that temporarily satisfies a need/feeling for me, or I would be willing to let go of it?” We all do or say things, consciously or unconsciously, that we regret. We are human and make mistakes.

Forgiveness is something you do for yourself. It’s not really about the other person or situation. It’s about what you are willing to give to yourself—your own self-love. When we stop seeing ourselves as the victim, then we set ourselves free.

Maybe it will be necessary to walk away from that other person and situation for your own highest good. Could you do it? Fine. But do it with as much forgiveness for them and yourself as you can muster at the time. It’s ok if you can’t completely forgive someone for what they did/didn’t do or said/didn’t say (or something you did/didn’t do or said/didn’t say).

There’s an old Buddist saying about forgiveness that includes forgiving yourself even if you can’t forgive someone else yet. That impacted me and allowed me to release my guilt and shame of not being at a point where I could forgive someone for the things they did and said. I believe that I was able to forgive quicker because of it. It allowed me to release the hurt negative feelings and regain my freedom from the situation. It was like taking in a big deep breath of fresh air.

Getting to this point, you must allow yourself to feel and process your emotions. Allow yourself to say what you need to say (to yourself or another) and ask for what you need to heal. This has been the hardest thing for me (and probably many of you) – to express how you feel and ask for what you need. Many of us were raised and conditioned to hold our feelings back and not voice what we needed. Like it was a taboo of some kind, and the repercussions could be severe.

Choosing to forgive yourself or someone else is choosing to alleviate that burden of hurt, pain, and fear. Choosing to let go of the past and not perceive yourself as a victim gives you FREEDOM. Freedom without the shackles and restraints of fear, pain, and tension. Free to look at each day and situation with new eyes and new insight. 

Freedom to be – to be a joyful and playful you.

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