Learn how you realize it’s time to forgive, and why it’s essential for your spiritual growth
It is not always easy to forgive someone. But being able to forgive is still important, much more for ourselves than for others. Here, I want to show you how you realize it’s time to forgive, because right now it’s time to set yourself free.
Who can forgive, feels free: A personal story
I remember exactly: We were standing in the kitchen and too tense to sit down or turn on the light. It was getting darker around us, but perhaps that was a good thing. For what we had to discuss was not easy for us, for my mother and me.
I wanted to clear things up, as the saying goes and no longer wanted to bind my mother to me through my anger and reproaches. My desire to release her to finally become free herself was strong, as well.
People can be connected not only by love, affection and positive experiences with others, but also by the complete opposite, as I have learned.
While one makes us happy and inspires, the latter makes us sick, pulls us down and constricts our energy. And that’s exactly what I wanted to change on this late November afternoon.
I had thought through everything carefully, prepared the words and in the end was completely overwhelmed by my feelings. Nevertheless, it was ultimately a good conversation.
Forgive for your sake, but also for the sake of the other person involved
Maybe I should rather say a good monologue, because I asked my mother to just listen to me. And then I told her about my memories, and about my thoughts.
Of the fact that she had often abandoned me and that I felt unloved. What this has done to me, what I have believed in, about myself and the world.
Of course, her perception was different. Again and again she tried to justify herself. But I did not want to know who was right.
It was clear to me that she saw the world differently from me, that she had experienced and perceived the past in another light.
My only concern was to release her, so that I could become free. And for that, I had to forgive her for all that I had held against her for years, loud and in silence, conscious and unconscious – only if I forgave, I would be free, and I knew that.
So forgiveness is ultimately a selfish act?
To be perfectly honest, my answer is yes! But, of course, it’s much more than that. Forgiveness, that sounds so easy: “Just let go, forgive and then you’ll feel better”.
What sounds so simple in theory is a great challenge and hard work in practice, but one that pays off. Of course, it is not easy to let go of pain, hurt, anger, grief, even feelings of revenge. Sometimes it takes many years before forgiveness is possible.
How can I tell you that it is time to forgive?
Who can forgive, feels free. Who can let go opens up for new things to come in.
However, in the beginning, there is always the decision that something has to change. Maybe because you are constantly overwhelmed by negative thoughts and memories.
Perhaps you feel treated over and over again unfairly and badly, as well. In short, you most likely are incapable of forgiveness because you are sitting in a prison of your own memories.
Every time the memories reappear, when we rethink certain situations again, such as, “how did I deserve this?” Then, our feeling of self-worth slips into the basement. We feel unworthy and unloved.
And, of course, that also has an impact on our future, because what we think about is also a determining factor in our actions.
And if we do not trust ourselves, if we have no courage, if we do not believe in ourselves, then such sentences become self-fulfilling prophecies. (Here’s more on the subject on our big sister website: Recognizing and reprogramming beliefs: you’re more than you believe!)
But if we decide to forgive, we immediately leave the role of the victim, who always blames others for their own lives and take the stern course towards freedom!
How does forgiveness work?
Once the decision is made and the will to forgive is there, it’s about making it clear to yourself what exactly you want to forgive. It’s about sorting and thinking: What are my allegations?
So we start to reflect. Instead of reliving the past, again and again, we now look at it from the outside, analyze it, instead of just simply vanishing in self-pity.
For some this process goes faster, for others, it takes more time. But time does not matter here, because even the way is part of the goal, and we change our perspective, which also has healing effects.
Whether at the end of the process also a personal discussion follows, as with my mother, or not, is also up to each individual.
In many cases, such a pronunciation is no longer possible because the person is already deceased or not known. Then helps alone the idea of such a conversation, or a letter that you write to the person and may never send. It is also possible to forgive oneself by means of letters.
Forgive and forget?
For me, forgiveness expressly does not automatically mean forgetting. If someone forgives something, that does not mean that what has happened is played down, undone or even forgotten. It only means letting go, no longer clinging to it; nothing more, nothing less.
It means to admit not only to perceive the negative in its counterpart but to see and accept it as a person with strengths and weaknesses with good and bad qualities.
To illustrate it with a simple example: I can forgive my friend for stealing my car and driving it to junk and still insisting that he buy me a new one.
Forgiveness as a therapy
For some years, forgiveness has also been scientifically studied. Dr. Robert Enright founded an international research institute in 1994 and sums up the results of the studies as follows: “We are now using scientific methods to find out what we could have known for thousands of years: Forgiveness is good both mentally and physically.”
It was found, among other things, that the number of anxiety and depression was significantly lower in those who had pardoned someone, than in those who did not. Who would like to learn more about this type of therapy and Dr. Enright can do so through his book “Forgiveness as an Opportunity”.
How my story continued
My mother and I never talked about this conversation again. To be honest, I do not know if she remembers it at all.
It does not matter to me, however, because for me this conversation has changed a lot: I can meet my mother today, may it be in real life or in thought, without resentment and anger.
We certainly will not build a close and highly emotional mother-daughter relationship anymore, but I see things today with different eyes than before our conversation.
I see in her the mother who did the best she could at that time, even if it hurt me a lot. I recognize in her the mother, who has suffered and doubted herself, and I see in her the mother who today makes a lot of effort to do things differently. And that’s just good!
Let me know how you realize it’s time to forgive. Do you have a special moment or feeling that tells you that the time for forgiveness has come? Please, share your stories, experiences and tactics with us. We’d love to hear from you ii a comment below.
Also, please, help to spread the word about our website with your family, friends and social media. It enables me to continue to provide informative articles, tips, free ebooks. It, furthermore, allows me to offer personal talk time for those of you who are in need of an open ear, advice and uplifting words during rough times.
Meanwhile, I’d like to send you my love and healing energy. Keep in mind tar you are unique light beings, here to fulfill a personal mission for the greater good of our entire collective.
So thank you for our bravery, commitment and existence. You are highly appreciated, cherished and unendingly loved. ~Namaste~