I wonder if you could forgive an evil person that has knowingly hurt you, or abused you? I wonder could you forgive a family member who has ripped every shred of trust out of your mind, body and spirit? I wonder could you forgive a partner who tried to send your ashes to the devil, after he or she discarded you after abusing you mentally and physically?
Forgiveness has to be a conscious decision of my will. If someone has done me harm intentionally and shows no remorse, it is an extremely difficult decision to forgive them, but this does not mean it is ok, that it was fine what they did to me. It just means that I am choosing not to allow what they did to me to eat me up inside and hold me prisoner. I am forgiving them to set myself free; to allow myself to move on with my life. If someone is a narcissist for instance, they will not feel remorse, so waiting or trying to get some sort of apology may not happen; at least for a long time.
Nelson Mandela said this regarding leaving prison, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
I wasn’t always a calm person and would have tried forcing someone by whatever means I could to ‘get’ someone to apologise to me. This was never an apology as they felt they needed to apologise to me just to appease me, and get me to back off. I am now a man of peace, and no matter how hard it is to do, I try to forgive people for their harm towards me. This means I am not allowing my feelings and emotions to become twisted up, bitter, angry, resentful and ultimately become the effect of other people’s nasty or evil agendas. I am responsible for my own feelings and emotions; although this does mean I have to stop sometimes and realise I have allowed myself to be tarnished with someone else’s hatred of me and reciprocated it towards them. You may have feelings of shame, loneliness, guilt, anger or many more, all of which are not yours to hold, as they were a product of what this person did to you, not what you did to them, therefore when you work through to being able to forgive this person, these feeling can also be left with them, not carried around on your shoulders.
This is where mindfulness is very useful, as it allows me to sit, or lie down, in the peace and stillness, and listen to my own emotions and thoughts, filter them back, and take forward only what is mine, leaving other people’s nasty or evil feelings, which can only harm me more than they ever could. I refuse to allow what they did to me, to continue long after they did it, to still affect me now. I refuse to give them that power over me and my current relationships.
Forgiving others is not about ‘letting them of the hook’; It is about accepting it has happened, and becoming who you can be, without them holding you back, still having control over you. If what they did was illegal for instance, and if you haven’t already, take it to the authorities if you wish. Forgiveness is not making light of anything that has happened, but allowing you to move on, however difficult it will be.
The lady in the link below states she was raped by her Father a lot growing up, she was eventually able to forgive… I can’t ever imagine the pain, physically and mentally she went through as a young person so confused in the world, by someone she could have learned trust from…
I want you to know that trust can be formed again, healing can take place. As a man of Christian Faith, I asked God for forgiveness, and have been forgiven for a lot. I pray everyday, and I also practice Mindfulness. This is my way of living life in peace, in charge of my thoughts, feeling and emotions. I refuse to allow others to hinder my steps in life because they are so twisted up inside they want to harm and control others with their evil plans. I take time everyday to stop, listen and feel my spirit, mind and body.
I am very interested in your comments on forgiveness. How did you forgive someone who harmed you? I would like this blog to be the start of someone being able to take control of their life back from the pain that was caused to them. This blog is only here to help trigger something in other people to start healing and steps towards a more peaceful life. Please also get professional help if you need it from a counsellor etc. to help you take the 1st steps.
Take care. Stephen