Have you ever had trouble forgiving someone, maybe, even yourself? You just keep holding on to something and can’t let go. It’s like a weight dragging you down and keeping you stuck.
Scott Hunter talked about the importance of apologizing and forgiving in his Unshackled Leadership website blog and Coach’s Corner newsletter earlier this week, saying “Forgiveness is a willingness to let go of the anger and hurt, to pardon the other person, to put the past in the past, and to restore the relationship to how it was before the events discussed occur.” It is the act of pardoning or excusing oneself or someone else without harboring resentment.
The biggest challenge is for us to forgive for something we believe is absolutely wrong. To get beyond this, it’s important to understand that forgiving is not condoning a hurtful or harmful behavior. It’s freeing your heart and mind from the meaning you have created about yourself, about others, or about something hurtful that occurred that continues to cause you misery. It’s helpful to remember that in every moment, people do the best they can based on their thinking and programming at that time.
What makes this difficult is that most of us have our own programming that involves judging. We go to “right” or “wrong” and “good” or ”bad”. To forgive, it’s important to let go of these judgments, to forgive and let go.
An important first step to forgiveness is to forgive yourself. Look at the situations that are troubling you and ask, “What do I need to forgive myself for?” Write these things down. State out loud your willingness to forgive yourself for each thing. As you do, cross off each item. You can tear up the paper or burn it. Picture it blowing away in the wind. You’re now done with it. Let it go! Follow this process for other people you need to forgive.
Sometimes, forgiveness is a process. When these thoughts come back into your mind, continue the process to let them go. Remember, we all do the best we can with what we have. Forgiveness gives you power. As you let go of resentments and forgive, you will feel lighter and more energetic. Forgiveness gives you the power to move forward with a life that is full of love, joy, happiness and success.