Forgiveness. It’s not the easiest thing to do for sure. We often say that we forgive someone for their actions but do you truly forgive them? it’s one thing to speak it out loud for the sake of keeping the peace, but to actually wholeheartedly mean it is another.
Throughout most of my life I was angry, sad and hurt. I lashed out on those that I felt were the cause of my ever present darkness. Pastors, therapists, elders and those close to me would kindly offer advice telling me to forgive the person who had pained me and in doing so I would feel better. My stubborn heart wouldn’t listen, I had convinced myself that they didn’t deserve my forgiveness. Although their advice on forgiveness was never truly ignored no one ever spoke about forgiving the most important person of all…. me.
It wasn’t until I was in deep meditation a few years ago that I heard, “You need to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself of the pain you inflicted on yourself. Forgive yourself for being harsh towards yourself. Forgive yourself for thinking you were unworthy of love. Forgive yourself for past judgments. Forgive yourself for the years that you abandoned yourself. Forgive yourself for the negative actions you placed upon yourself. Once you forgive yourself than you will be free to forgive others.”
That was the key to my freedom.
In doing so, I learned that in order to forgive myself I needed to step away from ego. I had to look within and hold myself accountable for the pain that I caused, not only to myself but to others. Now, that was a hard one because every time I caught myself wanting to place blame onto someone else it was at that moment I had to stop the progression that was taking place within my own mind and sit in silence.
Self-reflection will open the door to a brand new way of being. Honestly, it allowed me to understand and see things from a different point of view. When I took a step back from a situation, I gained a new understanding.
As I worked through forgiving myself the most miraculous thing happened, I no longer had hate or disdain in my heart for those people who once wronged me. Sure, this totally caught me off guard to the point that I sat in silence and replayed the scenario between me and one particular person over again. Nothing. No hate. No anger. Just forgiveness. I tried another person and the same outcome. I was in utter awe.
Learning to forgive yourself is no easy task but it’s worth the time, energy, even tears to get to that point where you can feel the binds that strapped you into place soon give way.
I’m often asked how is it possible to forgive someone who sexually or physically hurt you. And that’s when I remind them that even though I truly forgave from my heart that it doesn’t mean that I validate the boundaries that were crossed. In doing so I can still live my life knowing that I reached a place of pure forgiveness.
Which has allowed me to be free.