Somewhere along the way we got confused about what forgiveness really means and what happens when we deeply and honestly forgive another person for something they have done to us.
Who remembers a scenario that goes a little like this…
Mum: “Go and say sorry to your brother for shooting him with your slingshot.”
Me: “Fine… SORREEEEEEEE”
Brother: “I forgive you.”
Mum: “Ok now off you go, be home before dark.”
I was never really sorry and he never really knew what he was saying, but it was a surefire way to get back to our game. Which we did and we got on with it and it was never an issue again.
Now days ‘letting it go’ seems like the impossible feat. Why though, surely we can just move on and get back to the game of life?
Why is it so hard as we get older, to forgive someone who has done wrong by us? Using excuses like “I wont forgive them because they aren’t really sorry” or “forgiving is for the weak” or “they are still in my life everyday”.. But the truth is, its got nothing to do with them. Your actions don’t condone what they did as ok, rather, it sets YOU free.
A while ago, I dated a guy for a couple of years who treated me terribly and for a long time after, I didn’t forgive him for what he had done, purely because I knew he wasn’t sorry and I was just one of many woman who had been his victim. But by not allowing forgiveness on my part, I was walking around with metaphorical suitcases full, lugging that shit with me everywhere. Yuck!
Then one day, years after we broke up, I decided that I wasn’t going to allow him stay in my life this way. So I forgave him. Not because he was sorry, not because I forgot or thought what he did was suddenly ok, but so I could drop off those damn bags I had been lugging for years and leave them, never to carry them again.
So I did. On the night of a full moon, I decided to give the forgiveness that was needed to allow me to fly again. Using a ritual that I have since made a regular practice, I forgave him and I forgave myself, for allowing him to treat me that way.
See, when you forgive someone, they don’t even have to know, it’s about how you hold your thoughts and emotions within you, rather than any physical act of saying “it’s ok” or “I understand”, unlike when we were kids.
The act of forgiveness is not easy. Especially when the person you need to forgive has deep hooks in you or is perhaps still in your life. But when you do, it allows you to regain strength and find freedom and comfort again.
Think of a person that has done wrong by you, maybe they betrayed you, lied, abused you or worse.
Would you offer them a place in your home, to live, rent free?
Oh Hell No.
Not forgiving someone, is YOU allowing them to live, taking up valuable space, RENT FREE, in your head.
Take the time to think deeply about the ones in your life that you need to forgive, the ones that make your blood boil, the ones that have caused you pain, upset you or let you down. Take some long deep breaths and let it go. And most importantly, forgive yourself. As we are all our biggest critics and no one, especially those that look it on Instagram, no one is perfect.