Forgiveness is not just a gift we can extend to others. It is one we can give to ourselves as well. It is a tool with many purposes. It can release us from the past and allow us to live in the present. It can free us from blame and negativity. It can help us to take responsibility for our own role in any of the drama we have been a part of. It can help us love others and see their value. This is an excerpt of a journal I wrote related to the topic of forgiveness.
“The only way for true happiness is to look within. Forget the outside world and trying to control it, just use it as a tool for self discovery. I am so happy that I am beginning to understand this. Forgiveness towards others, is the release of any negativity concerned with the external world and the people in it, that holds us back. It is the tool used to help us realize that the things that happened to us had to happen to get us to the place we are now. Forgiveness towards self also frees us from guilt, shame, regret, disappointment with ourself and others, past negativity and blame. We release ourselves from the constant treadmill of judgment of self and others, masking itself in the thoughts that say, “I should have known that.” “I shouldn’t have done that.” “I am so ashamed of myself.” “Why did that person act that way?” “Why couldn’t I have done this 20 years ago?”
The more we forgive, the more freedom we have. Why? Because it frees us from the past and our judgments of it. We free the person(s) who wronged us. We forgive ourselves for wrong actions or thoughts. Forgiveness frees us from the trap of blaming, allows us to accept responsibility for what we have done that contributed to the problem (nothing is ever truly 100% one person’s fault, right?) and gives us the opportunity to release it.
Write the answers to the following: Who do you need to forgive? What do you need to forgive them for? What are the benefits of forgiving this person? Spiritually, Emotionally, Physically, Relationally (with self and others). Is there are benefit to your career? What are the consequences of not forgiving this person or situation that happened? What did I do that contributed to the problem? What can I do differently next time? What can I learn from this situation?