I feel like forgiveness is under used. That we hold onto that allowance of simply letting go…..letting go of the other person’s actions, words, etc., as a way to punish. Who is really being punished in this scenario?
The act of forgiveness isn’t easy. When I am hurt, my first instinct is to cling to it until it suffocates me. It took me a long time to realize that by forgiving I am releasing myself. It is more for me than for the other person. Did you know that you don’t have to even like or have a relationship with the person in question in order to forgive? Forgiving isn’t making allowances for their actions. It isn’t an opening for them to continue to act in a way that is harmful to you. It is merely a form of self-love.
When I first entered the rooms of Alanon on the heels of my spouse’s entrance into his recovery program, I was introduced to a foreign concept……forgiving myself. I had never thought that my actions could be harmful to me. While it wasn’t an overnight, fairy Godmother moment, it did shed some light on my patterns of behavior. If I can’t forgive myself, then how can I forgive others?
Forgiveness frees me from being an emotional hostage. And while it is a catalyst for moving forward, it also formulates an opportunity to be grateful for the experience. All are teachable moments and I am still a novice student.