Real Talk | Forgiveness
I’m a Leo and “they” say that means I can be both loyal and stubborn. I’ve found this to be mostly true. Because of these personality traits I can often feel betrayed or let down, the stubborn side of me makes it very difficult for me to allow a wrong to be righted. I’ve come to the realization that for most of my life I have only gone as far as to “be okay” with someone or something. I have been operating under the assumption that to “be okay” with a situation was basically forgiveness. I’ve learned recently how wrong and hurtful this thought has been both for me and for people around me.
“Forgiveness is not something you do for someone else; it’s something you do for yourself. To forgive is not to condone, it is to refuse to continue feeling bad about an injury.” -Jim Beaver, Life’s that Way
I stumbled across this quote this week and it just spoke to me, in a way that other quotes on forgiveness never have. To forgive is something I do for myself, in a way it’s an act of self love (also something I need constant work on).
Jim Beaver said it perfectly, I’ve been operating under the assumption that to give full forgiveness was to condone the action that caused the hurt. I can recall being … 16 or 17 years old and vowing to never, ever allow anyone to hurt me again. The vow I made helped me in that moment but it is no longer is serving me. When I am unable to forgive I am unable to mend my own hurt, so I carry all of it… all of the time. By doing so I’ve realized I’m living much more out of fear than of love and all that is really doing is burying hope and grace with myself and with other people.
But, how does one instantly begin a path of forgiveness? I’m not sure, actually I really have no idea other than repeating the mantra…
Let it go.
In moments where I close up and start living out of fear it’s a reminder to get in check with love and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only true gift I can give myself that will heal any of my hurt, it’s not for the other person it’s for me to heal and become whole. This aha moment was so serendipitous to me, I just finally get it. It’s not about feeling like a doormat and letting people off the hook it’s about not allowing hurt to turn my heart towards bitterness and thus isolating myself from myself and my loved ones.
With past hurts it’s important to know that your circumstance or situation, your pain they do not define you, you are not those things alone. By understanding that your worth is so much more it is easier to understand that forgiveness is not taking away from the pain that was very real, it’s not letting that person off the hook, it’s about trying to live your best life.
Living greatly is all I can truly hope to do and by understanding and implementing forgiveness into my life is something that I know will be a stepping stone to my best life.
Apart from the quote from Jim Beaver, here are some gems I picked up on forgiveness this week:
“Forgiveness is so difficult because it involves death and grief.” -Brene Brown Rising Strong
It’s a death to that part of yourself, that ego that doesn’t want to allow you to move forward, it’s a surrender of all those hurtful feelings. It’s a big risk letting it go, in trusting that by letting it go, wholeness and love can again fill those parts of you.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
I feel so strongly that to move towards my/our best life we must adopt a constant attitude for forgiveness. Right now, this feels nearly impossible because I’m living so much out of fear but now that I’m fully aware I can start to make the daily changes and meet the daily challenges to change my attitude.