The power of forgiveness

Forgiveness or better the power of forgiveness is such a complex notion that I thought it is important for us to look deep into this in order to understand what this important life’s process truly mean.

The dictionary defines forgiveness as follows:
The intentional and voluntary process by which a person 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.

For many years I saw forgiveness as a gift to the other person, the one who hurt you. But nothing is less true. Just like me you may have been hurt by someone’s words or actions in the past. This resulted to you carrying around bitterness and resentment for what had happen. But by doing so you actually block yourself from receiving healing, light, peace and great blessings. You may think that by keeping your anger towards that person you are showing that you didn’t forget and that you didn’t agree with the way they treated you. But what you are actually doing is hurting yourself even more.

Early on in my search to understand people and what moves them I quickly learned the importance of forgiveness. Christianity one of the greatest religion on earth is based on forgiveness. Many of the great teachers that I admire such as Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Joyce Meyer and others all have gone through some great process of forgiveness before they were able to step into their great achievements in life.

So I knew that forgiving others or the ability to ask for forgiveness was an important process in life.  This process isn’t as much for the one who has done you wrong as it is for you. Living with resentment is like building a wall of anger around you that you take with you everywhere you go. The problem with walls and fences is that it holds back not only the bad things but also all possible good things that could come to your life. By forgiving you break free from these walls of anger and resentment and you accept light, love and peace to be part of you, part of your life again. It took me a long time to come to that conclusion, but once I did my life changed. Greater and more positiver things started to come into my life.

From then on I learned that every time someone does you wrong you shouldn’t carry it with you everywhere I go. You should take some silent time, think about it and forgive that person or even yourself and only then you could move forward with your life.

A school teacher once did this experiment with his students. He asked them to bring one potato for each person they were angry with, some brought one or two; other brought six or seven. They were told that for the whole week they had to carry these potatoes with them everywhere they went. If they went to sleep those potatoes had to lay next to them, when they went to the bathroom they had to bring it with them, when they went to the shower, to dinner or out to play with friends they had to make sure that they carried these potatoes with them. At the end of the week the teacher asked them how it was carrying around all that extra weight and of course no one was very happy about it. To which the teacher replied, well that’s exactly what happens when you carry around anger and resentment towards someone. That person won’t be that much affected by it, but you will be the one slowing yourself down in life by carrying that extra weight of anger and bitterness towards them. That’s exactly what I had been doing for so many years until the day that I had chosen to forgive.

You might ask yourself, well forgiveness is great. But how do I forgive? Here is one of the ways that I use to forgive others.

Dear x, I forgive you for everything you have done. I forgive you for everything you’ve said and done that hurt me. I forgive you and let go of all the anger and resentment. I am no longer angry with you. I wish you the very best in everything you do and wish you the very best in life. May God bless you.

Sometimes you might need to repeat this to yourself before you truly mean the things you are saying. But once you’ve not only been able to forgive but also have had the strength to wish the other person well in their life and mean it, even though they hurt you; then you become the better person. Then you open yourself to receive light, love and peace and are ready for greater blessings in your life.