Forgive (verb): to no longer feel angry about or wish to punish (an offence, flaw, or mistake).
To forgive is a verb. A verb is a word used to describe an action.
Let's dive into the powers of Forgiving.
The Ego as an obstacle
When it comes to letting go of being angry at someone who left us with a pain of any kind, the Ego (aka the Mind) will do everything possible to stop us from forgiving.
Despite all appearances, the Ego is not our enemy. It is here to protect us from making a decision we are not ready to make. It will ask strongly assertive questions to take us through a process of thinking about the decision we are about to make. Each question becomes an obstacle because we tend to agree with the Ego unless we have done enough work to understand that he worries a lot about way to many things. #dramaqueen
The Ego could lead us to a self-sabotage situation (check out my article "How to stop self-sabotage?".) but let's not give it to much importance and focus on what it is doing: it is here to provoke us, shake us, make sure our foundations are solid before we build any extension.
Now that we have identified the main blocker of forgiving, let's focus on the origin of Forgiveness: Hurt.
The Act of Hurting Someone
In my coaching sessions I see a lot of pain, things bottled up, buried. Too painful to even be touched or approached. We all have been hurt. What we tend to forget is that we also did hurt people. Someone, someday was hurt by you.
People always ask: "How can someone in their right mind do that?" Well, when one hurts anyone they are never in their right mind. We hurt because we are in pain. Just like a drunk person who can't walk straight and bumps into things. This person does not mean any harm to anyone, they are just no longer capable of walking straight. We are drunk with pain. Only a person who has faced their issue can start straightening that walk.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” J. Baldwin
So the 4 agreements are very true: Take nothing personally. As hard as it sounds for your Ego, when someone hurts you it's not about you, it's just about them not being able to walk straight.
Now that we understand that people who suffer unconsciously will always hurt people unconsciously hence why nothing is personal, let's see what are the benefits of forgiving.
How to Forgiven and why?
- Finding stillness. I find that forgiving needs a lot of deep self-reflection and to grasp that grudge you need to find stillness. Stillness is about finding this point where there is silence in your mind. You can listen to the "why" and see what is preventing you from forgiving, letting go.
- Finding the lesson in the pain. It's about taking your power back: it is your responsibility to overcome hurt. When you are able to see what positive this pain brought into your life, you can move on stronger, more resilient. I lightly touched upon this on my article about Sadness and the one about Seeing the positive in the negative.
- Growing compassion. when you are able to show compassion for someone, it is a great feeling of love that feels up your heart. Love for the person you forgive but also for yourself. Compassion is mostly about recognising that this person is suffering just like you are.
- Putting down the weigh. The weigh of carrying a grudge. Anger. Sadness. Frustration. Rage. Whether towards someone or towards yourself. Once this weigh is down you can breathe again, walk faster towards new projects.
- Finding freedom. Freeing space to think about something else. Freeing space to grow something something nurturing, yummy for the heart where there were rage, anger, sadness before.
Forgiving is letting go of any sharpness in our hearts. It is about being a better person. Admitting that this person did a mistake, we might have done a mistake as well by getting involved with this person. We might have hurt people as well with no intention of doing so.
When we hurt, we are a person suffering from a dis-ease. We are acting from a place of pain, hence why our behavior is sharp. We are like a bush of roses, beautiful and dangerous. We are not capable of creating a safe space for anyone approaching us.
Forgive and tell the people who hurt you that you forgive them. Have you ever been told "I forgive you"?; I have and it is one of the best gift.
I forgive you means: I understand that you are human, you make mistakes, you are not evil, you did not want me to suffer, you made an error.
I forgive you means: I admit that I am human as well. That I can make mistakes. That I can hurt people with no intention of doing so.
Remember that you can only do better when you know better. Forgive yourself, forgive the whole world.
I'll leave you with this great video from Will Smith about responsibility.
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Sawubonasana is a space where you can be yourself, recognized and loved just the way you are. Sawubona means "I see you and by seeing you I bring you into being", Asana means posture, way of living. I've chosen this name for my website because I want to live a life where I see you, I acknowledge your existence and love your uniqueness. In this space you can love yourself, lick your wounds and heal them with love and compassion. You can book a coaching session with me by clicking here.