Forgiveness Is Not What You Think

This thing you learned as a child is FALSE!

As children we learn the importance of forgiveness. If we knock over another child's blocks, we are told "say you're sorry" and the other child is asked "do you accept his/her apology?" This is a good skill for children to learn because it helps them become more conscious of other people's feelings. It teaches us the importance of forgiveness (which is great) but it emphasizes the wrong part. ⠀

In the above scenario, the importance is placed on us hearing the other child's response, hearing that we are forgiven. Consequently, this makes it seem like forgiveness is all about the person we are forgiving. ⠀

This is false!⠀

Forgiveness is a personal practice. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person's actions and everything to do with us releasing what no longer serves us. ⠀

Think of someone you have a difficult time forgiving...⠀

How do you feel when you think about them?⠀

Is it a positive or negative feeling?⠀

Generally when we think of someone we haven't forgiven, we get flooded with negative feelings. Sometimes these negative feelings present themselves physically (jaw clenching, sweating, shaking, etc.)⠀

Now, think of someone you've wronged in the past that you haven't forgiven YOURSELF for... ⠀

How do you feel when you think about them?⠀

Is it a positive or negative feeling?⠀

The purpose of forgiveness is to let go of these negative feelings and release what no longer serves you. You don't have to agree with the harmful actions that occurred to forgive someone, because forgiveness has nothing to do with those actions. The other person doesn't have to know you forgave them, they don't even have to be alive for you to forgive them. ⠀

Forgiveness is all about understanding what you deserve. Yes, no one deserves to be treated poorly. Yes, sometimes people do bad things and don't apologize. But, everyone deserves to feel good and everyone deserves to let go of negative feelings. You deserve to be treated with kindness by other people and most importantly by YOURSELF. ⠀

Mantra for forgiveness:

I deeply and completely forgive myself and others ⠀