Forgiveness; Is This The Real Deal? – Live Better Live Now. Your life will require you to forgive and to be forgiven by others many, many, many times. The sooner you can learn this and also teach it’s practice to those you love – the sooner you and they can embrace a more free and happy life.
Here’s the “skinny” on what is and is not, forgiveness:
What Forgiveness Is NOT:
1. Condoning, dismissing or minimizing what has happened. Pretending it doesn’t matter only drives the negative inward, it doesn’t make it go away.
2. “Forgive and Forget”; this has got to be some of the worst of common wisdom out there. Forgetting is utter nonsense and foolishness. If you do not remember, you cannot learn and make better decisions ahead. Even the great religious texts do not ask us to forget. (ex. The bible specifies forgiveness, it doesn’t support forgetting…these two are very different.)
3. Reconciling. Keep in mind that forgiveness is a spiritual and internal act. It does not require the other person(s) involvement. Reconciliation is between the offending and the offended – this is a human exchange and unlike forgiveness, reconciling require reciprocity. Forgiveness is an action solely of itself. (forgiveness heals the self, reconciling heals the relationship – sometimes the relationship is not a safe or healthy one and it needs to dissolve).
What Real Forgiveness IS:
1. It’s hard to truly believe in or be open to forgiveness for ourselves when we cannot practice it for others.
2. The conscious choice to not only not seek revenge, but to not harbor the desire for it within ourselves.
3. Allowing whatever injustice we feel to be righted by an appropriate higher system and/or our higher power.
4. Allowing ourselves to see humanity, however flawed, of all involved and not just from a perspective as the offended.
5. Relating the story of what happened with consideration for the above (4) and not an account of accusation that continues to spread injury.
6. Asking, praying, meditating or hoping for healing for the offender – to whatever extent you can. This frees you to move forward in life.
(If you are having trouble wrestling with forgiveness, forgetting and reconciling in your own life, getting some professional guidance might be helpful).