It is Easter – a time of forgiveness and rebirth, if we so choose. I have come to realize that there are three main reasons why many of us are reluctant to forgive:
- We think that forgiveness means that we condone the actions of another or agree with their incorrect thoughts on something.
- We think that we need to tell another that we forgive them, essentially rewarding them.
- We don’t have the information we need i.e. the truth to forgive them.
Forgiveness does NOT mean we condone the actions or agree with the thoughts of another. It does not mean that everyone suddenly gets along and lives happily ever after! It does not mean we are weak or lacking in principles or intelligence. Why our society has been led to believe this is beyond me and we have been so inhibited by this incorrect definition of forgiveness.
In my second book, I explain that “Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.” Forgiveness means that we consciously decide that we are not going to let another take over our lives or our thoughts. We are not going to remain angry or seek vengeance nor are we going to act like a victim, as a result of the actions or thoughts of another. And we DON’T need to tell another that we have forgiven them; we can if we want – it is our choice! I further explain in my book that “Forgiveness is the only way we can heal; we need to forgive for our own health and well-being…the gift of forgiveness is emotional freedom. It gives us peace of mind. If we hold onto our resentment, we give control over our emotional well-being to the person who hurt us…when we hold grudges, our love for ourselves cannot grow. We remain victims and we deprive ourselves of healthy, fulfilling relationships, allowing unhealthy patterns to take hold.”
Forgiveness means coming to see those who hurt us with new perspective. It IS easier to forgive another if we have certain information; for example, if we were emotionally abused by our parent and we learn that our parent was emotionally abused by their parent, our hearts can be filled with compassion more easily. But we don’t need to glean information on another in order to forgive them. We can simply come to understand that a person CANNOT hurt another, unless they are in pain themselves. Every single individual that is unhappy or is acting without integrity is hurting inside. When we know this, we can stop seeing what another did to us and we can look at their pain instead.
On this Easter weekend, I invite you to make a list of the individuals you have not forgiven. I invite you to spend time reading and re-reading the above words to remind yourself as to what forgiveness really is. I invite you to really see the pain those individuals are actually experiencing, every single day of their lives. If you can’t see it, ask someone that knows them well if they can see it. One thing I have learned well from coaching others is that EVERYONE knows when they have done wrong by another, unless they have a mental illness.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where I will teach you about forgiving ourselves. Easter Sunday’s blog will be all about our rebirth. As you watch a child in your life discover one egg after another on their Easter egg hunt, I will imagine you making your own discoveries, on your own Easter egg hunt, reading my three blogs. For any of you that know me, you know this will be the greatest gift I could receive this Easter weekend.
Happy Easter, Lovelies!