Why is it that our past has such a powerful impact on us? A moment long gone that still troubles us today. Why do we hold on to grudges when we know it doesn’t do us any good? When we look at the greatest teachers of humanity we can find that they all share the same message:
Letting go of the past is essential for peace of mind and happiness.
Yet, so many of us settle for pain and sorrow we experienced in our past. Essentially we are reliving the past over and over again.
It is like carrying around 200 pounds of extra weight. Try to enjoy where you are, with the people you love, when you are constantly reminded of something that happened in your past. Actively listening to someone becomes almost impossible when you carry all of this weight. And when you don't listen, you miss out on the beauty of life.
I used to think that forgiving someone for their wrong-doings means allowing them to get away because they would certainly not learn from this. In the end, I would come out as the loser and my ego did not like the taste of that. My way of fighting back was not to forgive because after all why would that person not do all of this again to me or someone else?
Not forgiving also means finding the negative in everything that person does. Even if that person is trying very hard or has already improved, our grudges keep reminding us to look for the fault…and we are really good at finding it! Before trying to move on, learn to forgive first.
Forgiving someone does not mean their actions are justified but rather demonstrating empathy and willingness to let go!
The key to forgiving other people lies within you. Before you truly forgive someone else, you need to take a close look inside. Have you forgiven yourself? Are you still beating yourself up for not being perfect or not being where you should be by now?
It took me many years to finally forgive myself for not being the best of the best. I would always question my abilities and try to find a fault. Achieved one goal and realised I still wasn’t happy; getting more was my mantra.
When I let go of all the grudges I was holding inside, I found that forgiving others was suddenly much easier.
By being empathic with myself and acknowledging that my progress takes time, I dropped those 200 extra pounds of weight in no time!
The difficulty of showing empathy for others is that we often don’t see the whole truth. We pick up bits and pieces and our mind creates a big story about what happened. Your best friend may have said something that really hurt you and at that point, you decided she or he is no longer trustworthy. But have you considered what’s REALLY going on with your friend? Maybe that friend is facing a very tough time and is afraid to talk about it (even with you). And here you are judging and jumping to conclusions. Could this be a cry for help?
Remember this: Not forgiving someone means giving others control over your emotions. It means you are tolerating this negative feeling because you are giving away your power and that leads to mental poisoning over time.
Forgiveness and ultimately trust, both require being courageous. I understand how difficult this can be, especially if people screw you over and over again. But in the end, it frees us from the grudges we carry every day. After I made peace with myself and the people that did me wrong, life started becoming so much more beautiful.
I don’t believe people are evil by nature, we go through life and our circumstances so often dictate our future. However, we are all human beings, we make mistakes, we all want to mean something in this world and our cry for attention can make us invisible because we loose sight of who we really are.
Committing to a bright future where you can achieve your goals and dreams begins with leaving behind the grudges that don’t serve you. It can be scary, it can be difficult, but if you want to change your future, start by practicing forgiveness.
How are you dealing with this topic? Have you forgiven and now feel better?
Your feedback and remarks are most welcome, please share them in the comments.