The Importance of Forgiveness In Life

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” Marianne Williamson

“You can’t grow a healthy dream in toxic soil.” Mary Morrissey

How important is it to you that you carry around that wounded heart?

Is it important to always remember the hurt, so it doesn’t happen again? Is it important not to let that particular person back in your life? Is it important to keep the hurt near your heart to bring up when you get hurt by someone else at some other time. Or is it poison?

Not Forgiving Hurts You and The Other Person

My mentor Mary Morrissey, says, not forgiving is like taking small doses of poison daily and expecting the other person to die from the poison. Not forgiving only hurts you, it poisons your ability to move forward into your dream. The other person is free to go about their life, you, on the other hand, are having your heart eaten out by your hatred.

Remember when you were a kid and your parents made you upset? You would pack your bag and get ready to run away thinking all the time about how they were going to miss you when you were gone, they would surely regret what they said or did when they found you missing.

All the time you were hoping they would come and apologize so you didn’t have to make it out in the big, cold world by yourself. If they would just come in and apologize, I wouldn’t have to do something so drastic as leave this house forever. I don’t know about you but I was that dramatic. I would pack up my barbies and troll dolls and get ready to leave. Sometimes they would apologize, usually they would just leave me seething, holding in my anger toward them not really knowing how or why to forgive them. We are all just big kids trying to figure it all out.

Give others a little grace or maybe a bunch of grace because we all live in glass houses when it comes to forgiveness.

How to Go About the Process of Forgiveness

We are all living life, getting our feelings hurt and letting our thoughts of betrayal get the best of us. How do adults go about forgiveness? I’m going to use a former lover who betrayed me with many women while we were in an exclusive relationship as an example of how forgiveness can work if you let it.

We all know the horror story of the ultimate betrayal, cheating. It’s ugly! It feels like someone stepped on your heart and just kept grinding on it with their heel. You feel stupid because, apparently, you were the only one who didn’t know it was happening.

How do you forgive? I’m not going to say you do this right away it takes some time and distance. The sooner you get to forgiveness the more of your life you get to live. Keep in mind, this is not about you.

One of Miguel Ruiz, Four Agreements is not to take things personally.

I know this is a very personal situation but it’s really not about you. It’s about the other person. No one is thinking you are stupid. Anyone in your life who matters, cares deeply about you and no one is laughing at your tragedy or secretly thinking you are an idiot.

The person in my life who betrayed me was only thinking of himself and I have used that fact to help me forgive him. He was insecure and selfish, (possibly some defect in his upbringing) I can see that now and I feel a little sorry for him, I’m not mad or hurt anymore. I understand that is who he is and now that he is not in my life, I don’t have a reason to hate him over something that was not personal. He is forgiven. He is just trying to figure out this life like me and you.

Granted he did it badly for a while. Hopefully he learned, but I don’t need to carry hatred around with me because he did life badly.

It’s not that you shouldn’t stick up for yourself, but if it’s not personal, what do you have to stick up for? You don’t need to let other people’s words and actions hurt you (sticks and stones style). If you understand you don’t need to take things personally, then you don’t get hurt when others say or do things that are really not about you. Get away from relationships that don’t serve you but don’t hold grudges that only poison your heart.

Make the shift to being in forgiveness, try to understand what motivates others’ bad behavior (you might have some behaviors that upset others and you have no problem justifying your behavior,we can talk about self-forgiveness in another blog post) think about that the next time you are in a state of un-forgiveness. Or just try seeing the little kid in the person who has offended you, the one that is here on planet earth just trying to figure it all out just like you.

“Forgiveness doesn’t mean the wound is completely gone. It means the pain no longer controls us or our actions.”
Melanie Beckler