HAVE YOU REFUSED TO FORGIVE SOMEONE BECAUSE THEY DON’T DESERVE TO BE LET OFF THE HOOK, saying “I will never, ever forgive them. It’s totally unforgivable.” But as you hold on to that resentment, it doesn’t feel good, does it? You are eaten up with righteous anger and indignation.
It’s understandable to think that if you tell them you have forgiven them, they will benefit by feeling free of guilt and completely get away with it, and they don’t deserve that. There is also a risk to you because they may think now it’s ok to do it again.
But there is no need to tell them that you have forgiven. The kind of forgiveness I’m talking about is not for them, it’s for YOU.
It does not mean that you condone what they did. It does not mean that you forget- you will remember so you won’t let that happen again. It does not mean that you like them, although you still could, eventually.
Forgiving means that you let go of the reinforcement and maintenance of the hurtful memory. If you keep it current, it becomes like an energetic connection to the person that hurt you, a conduit through which the hurt is reactivated over and over again. This explains why you can still feel hurt by and resentful towards a person long after they have died! They certainly can’t hurt you again, and you can’t get revenge or resolve it. But if you remain unforgiving, you let them continue to hurt you even from the grave!
Holding on to resentment and thoughts of revenge and punishment, only hurts YOU. The hurter is oblivious to it. They quite possibly haven’t given the incident a thought in years. Your ongoing suffering is an inside job, based on your own thoughts and perceptions.
“Harbouring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die”
Forgiveness has a more positive effect on YOU than it does on them.
HOW TO FORGIVE, BE GLAD THAT YOU DID AND FEEL GOOD
In my experience forgiveness is a powerful healing elixir – provided you are doing it for yourself and you don’t forgive too soon!
There will be a lot of pent up anger surrounding the hurt, and this needs to be expressed and released. Imagine that the hurter is there in front of you and tell them all the ways they hurt you and let you down, how you felt, and really tell them what you think about that and don’t hold back. Cursing is beneficial at this point. Keep going until you have said it all. There will be many unspoken words waiting to be said. You can do this silently in your thoughts, or out loud, or write it down as if in a letter to them which you will burn, not post!
Once you have done that, try and understand why they did the hurtful thing . It might make them more forgivable. Did they do the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time? If they had known better would they have done things differently?
You can now choose to forgive them if you feel ready. Tell them, as before in the privacy of your own mind, that you forgive them and why. I forgive you because …. Keep going until all the anger is gone. You are doing it for yourself and you are not going to let them hurt you anymore. You are taking your power back. See in your minds eye an energy cord or conduit connecting you to them, and see yourself dramatically and finally cutting it and watch the two ends dissolve.
You may decide to sever all connections with this person and no longer have them in your life. Alternatively you can now decide to reconnect with them in a new healthier way. They will not have changed, but you have. As a result they will now relate to you differently.
One of my clients had been estranged from her mother and had not spoken to her for over 10 years. A few days after my client completed her forgiveness work, her mother unexpectedly phoned her. My client felt completely differently towards her mother and responded with new self confidence and no prickly negative expectations. She knew she would not take anything mother said personally and could never be hurt again. The call went amicably and they reconnected in a new healthy way.
Final thought. Now that you have forgiven another, and seen the healing value of letting go of all that emotional baggage, why not go ahead and forgive yourself for any guilt (anger at self) you are holding onto. You will be glad you did.
“Forgive them for they are misguided – whenever one hurts another, the negative energy they put out comes back to them, multiplied many times over” Christine 💜