Forgiveness. It’s not an easy thing. Whether you have been betrayed, abused, or brokenhearted, it’s hard to muster up the strength to forgive someone who hurt you.
One misconception I am finding with people who are unwilling or unable to forgive is that they feel forgiveness makes what the other person did OK. This is completely false. What it does do is eat at your spirit, take over your mind and sometimes cause depression. I have been there, more than once. It wasn’t until I was able to truly forgive the people who hurt me that I could be free and start to move forward.
There is this quote that resonated with me once I came across it, “Not forgiving someone is like allowing them to live rent free in your head.” It’s true! They are off living their lives, most likely not even giving you one single thought. And here you are frustrated and angry and refusing to let go. It does take a lot of maturity and tons of strength to forgive and let go. In certain situations in my own life, it has taken years.
One of the lessons I have learned regarding forgiveness is that it doesn’t matter why people do the things they do. What matters is how we react to them. Take a minute and look back over the years when you have felt unforgiving. Journal about them if you like. Notice how your body reacts; notice the shift in your mood. Now ask yourself: “Is this person or situation really worth me feeling this way?” I am hoping you would answer, “No.” Nothing is worth stressing over and ruining our health over, nothing. In no way am I saying you must write a letter of forgiveness or have an uncomfortable meeting or phone call. However, if you feel that is what you want to do, then by all means please do it. When I was truly willing to forgive someone I would write to them, but only sometimes would I send what I’d written. It was more of a release for me than anything for them. It isn’t until you can truly let it go and forgive that you can finally be at peace.
As I reflect on all those people and situations that have brought me pain, I have come to a place of gratitude and appreciation. There were many lessons I have learned which made me realize how strong and brave I really am. They have helped me evolve into more of the person I am meant to become. Throughout my spiritual journey I have come to believe the true reason we are all enduring a human experience. One word sums it up: love. I believe we are here to learn how to love as God loves, which includes forgiveness. Think about it. Without love we could not survive as individuals or as an entire planet. In order to love, we must be able to forgive others, including ourselves.
Most people don’t even realize the unforgiving feelings that they are holding onto unless they feel triggered by something or someone. Anger, frustration, guilt and resentment can all be signs of not forgiving. It can cause a great deal of pain emotionally and physically. Our true self, or higher self, remembers that we are born from love and with love all things heal. Our ego, however, reminds us of the pain and keeps us holding onto it because our ego wants to feel justified. You are not your ego. When you get quiet with yourself and aware that there is a huge difference between living based on your ego or being true to your higher self, you will come to know the truth of who you are. You are love. Only your ego is driven by unnecessary gossip and drama, holding on to the past, fear-driven thoughts and feelings and all things negative. Your higher self just longs for peace and does try to guide you there. Most people do not take the time to listen. They make themselves too busy, even by engaging in other people’s lives rather than focusing on their own. That’s ego.
Getting real with yourself is not always easy or a pretty sight. But it can be the most wonderful and enlightening experience. When you can start by forgiving yourself for hurting others without the need for forgiveness from them, when you can finally realize that you are learning through experience, when you can finally realize that the lack of love for yourself is a huge reflection of why you feel undeserving, you will find it is much easier to forgive others. Please know that we all try to do our best with everything that comes into our life experience. Our best should not be judged by others, for they are not us. If you feel guided to do so, please check out the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Then check out the book, A Gift of Forgiveness A Magical Encounter with Don Miguel Ruiz by Olivier Clerc. Another suggestion would be to read the book or watch the movie, The Shack. If none of those spark your interest, at least take the time to journal a few minutes each day without any distractions. Dig deep within yourself so you may hear your higher self over the loud voice of ego. Learn to let go, forgive and find peace on your journey.
With many angel blessings,
Amy Musser, a Hellertown resident, is a spiritual adviser and owner of The Angel Whisperer based at Sacred Space in Hellertown, Pa. She was diagnosed with grade 3 astrocytoma, a type of brain cancer, in 2016. She has documented her progress fighting the disease and shares inspiration on Saucon Source and on Facebook.