“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.
There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies”. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Definition of forgiveness: The intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. – Wikipedia.
How can you forgive yourself and others quickly and get over it, instead of holding onto your resentment?
I used to hold onto resentment towards others for as long as I could believing that in someway the offending party would soon see the errors of their ways.
The only real error was in my thinking.
This thought pattern also caused an inability for me to be able to forgive myself for my own “bad behaviors.”
Have you ever noticed how you feel when you are in a state of “non forgiveness?”
It may feel like you have some power and control but it also dis-connects you from love.
Love is the key to getting the most out of yourself and life. States of non-forgiveness and love cannot exist at the same time.
If I had to choose between non forgiveness or love, I will choose love every time.
Why Can’t I forgive
Believe it or not the ego is the gatekeeper to whether you can forgive.
Your higher self already knows that forgiving is the way and to just do it, but the ego or the little you just can’t accept that.
The ego will often say, “ So and so did something to me and I will never forgive them.”
I hear you and I respect that decision but I also know that for every non forgiveness that you carry around is the equivalent to carrying a brick in your backpack.
The less you choose forgiveness the heavier your backpack gets.
Before you know it just getting out of bed in the morning becomes almost too much to handle.
Here is a simple tip to begin with when it comes to forgiveness. Start with yourself. Yes you!
I know you made mistakes before, you used poor judgment, said the wrong things and acted lower than your personal standards. Forgive yourself now. Just do it. Trust me.
Want to know why? There is no separation between you and another. When you forgive yourself you forgive another. When you forgive another you forgive yourself.
Forgiveness not only feels great but it will raise your personal vibes to a higher place which will make it easier to attract what you really want in life.
Self Help and forgiveness
I started reading self-help books regularly in 1997. That is what they were called back then. I wanted to get rid of limiting bad habits in myself. Basically my ultimate goal was to become perfect.
My perfection goals included always being positive, happy, in a good mood, never over-reacting to people or situations and always be a shining example to others in a positive way.
I can be this way for short periods of time but I can’t sustain it permanently.
Here I am fifteen years later and I find that I still over-react to people and situations, I am still moody when I don’t get enough rest, and I am still not perfect.
Unrealistic Expectations can cause hurt and resentment
I had essentially set myself up for failure by thinking this way. Being perfect 100% of the time is draining to the conscious mind and minimizes the ability to flow through life with a light heart and ease.
It took me some time to realize that I needed to become sensible and lower the expectations of myself and for others too.
I believe wholeheartedly that we are spiritual beings having a human experience on Earth. Part of the package of being human is the experience of duality.
Duality in life
How would a village full of seven-foot tall people know what tall is if everyone Is seven-foot?
They can’t, they do not have anything to contrast seven foot to.
They would need humans of average height to come into their village to realize that they are indeed tall in relation to average humans.
The same goes for your personal growth.
How would you know what a good mood is if you don’t experience a bad mood?
How would you know what abundance is in an area of your life if you haven’t experienced lack?
How would you know ideal relationships if you hadn’t had less than good ones?
Tony Robbins helped change my life
If you remember reading about me in other posts Tony Robbins was the catalyst for my personal development journey.
I was up late one night back in 1997 watching one of Tony’s infomercials on QVC and I bought his popular Personal Power 2 audio program.
I bought several other audio programs by Tony after that including his latest: Get the Edge.
I remember listening to the section on relationships because that was an area that I really wanted to improve on.
My belief at the time was that since Tony is talking about relationships he must be in a perfect one. I was stunned while listening to the program to find out that Tony was getting divorced from his wife Becky.
I remember thinking, “How can somebody give relationship advice when they are getting a divorce?” I wasn’t the only one thinking that either.
Remember, my belief was that personal growth was supposed to make me perfect and at that time getting a divorce was not an act of perfection.
So I was dumbfounded to say the least.
It took me a long time to figure out that no one is perfect and we learn by being imperfect.
Basically what I am saying is, how could we know what good is if we haven’t experience being bad?
How can we know what happy is if we don’t experience sadness?
How can we know a good relationship if we don’t experience one that doesn’t serve us such as in Tony’s case.
We learn by our choices. We don’t know that we made a good choice if we hadn’t made bad choices in the past. And who hasn’t done that before?
As humans we are going to “screw up” for lack of a better word. You can dwell on your mistakes and bad decisions or you can grow and learn from them. It’s your call.
I decided a while back to learn and grow from mistakes and to make better decisions the next time.
Neale Donald Walsch, the Author of Conversations with God , helped me tremendously in accepting myself fully and letting go of the need to be “perfect” all the time.
Neale has earned millions of dollars in sales of his popular books and remember, Neale was homeless and living in a tent just a year before becoming an instant millionaire.
Even after Neale had his success with his books and lectured to groups of people around the World about his Conversations With God experience, he never hesitated once in admitting that he is still making the same mistakes that he had before he wrote the book.
What is Forgiveness
To forgive just means to “let go.”
Holding onto resentment towards another is like holding a hot coal in your hand. It burns and it hurts. A rational person would just let go and drop the hot coal if it were in his hand.
Do the same with any bitterness, anger and resentment that you are holding about another or even yourself.
Every time you are about to get angry or react to something someone said or did to you pause for just a second. Let your consciousness take over and view the person that you are upset with as if you were looking into a mirror.
How would you want to be responded to?
With love, kindness and understanding?
Or with anger, rage and vindictiveness.
Even if you have a pattern of reacting to other people negatively you can forgive yourself now and consciously choose to view the other person as another version of you.
Once you learn to respond to situations with unconditional love instead of anger people will view you in a higher light. They will begin to seek you out and wonder how you learned to “rise above it all.”
Just tell them that you chose long ago to become a conscious being who no longer chooses to respond to situations unconsciously.
You can’t get angry enough to make anything better. You can’t despise another enough to make things any better. Let go, you don’t need to hold onto it.
Lighten your spiritual baggage and inspire others to do the same by becoming quick to forgive.
Forgiveness Quotes to Remember
“A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain”. – Samuel Johnson
“A personal offense is like a scratch on a phonograph record. I couldn’t move my thoughts beyond my pain. It kept repeating, as if I were stuck within its grooves. There was only one way to play beyond it. I had to forgive them, so my heart could take its form again”. – Laurel Lee
“Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much”. – Oscar Wilde
“As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.” – Isabelle Holland
“I’m a good enough person to forgive you, but not stupid enough to trust you again”. – Anonymous