I don’t know a person who walks on this earth that hasn’t had to sit with forgiveness at some point in their lives.
It does not come easy, period.
Forgiveness is different for each individual for the wound is different. Only you can walk in the footsteps of the forgiveness that you are facing. You can reflect, ask for advice, talk about the wound with others; yet at the end of the day it is up to you to meet forgiveness in a place that is comfortable for you.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I am powerless over other people's choices and actions.
Read that again. We are powerless over others choices and actions. I had wanted to understand the wound, reason the behavior away and find an answer to the incessant ‘why’ that just wasn’t going to ever be there for me.
In time I had to come to my own personal realization that I can allow their actions to infect my life and the journey that I am walking; allowing their dismissiveness and arrogance to wound me repeatedly by staying in that anger or resentment, holding and cradling that which was not mine to hold. Or I could embrace personal empowerment by forgiving, letting go and walking forward in what I know to be true for me.
I had to meet the honest humility within myself. That has been hard for me, but truly the healthiest thing I could ever do for my healing journey.
When we hold on to resentment, we are only hurting ourselves. When people harm us or do things that are not acceptable, and the list is often long; it is never really about us. It’s about them and their own woundedness that they are working through.
We find forgiveness so as to not take on their pain and darkness that they have not processed and which shows itself in hurting others, knowingly and unknowingly at times.
I have had to find forgiveness for many different situations in my life, some more traumatic than others. It will always be a journey that begins with bringing to the core an indescribable pain that one must first sit with in order to open up our deepest self to an enlightened healing, allowing awareness to envelop the process and in the full circle of transformation carries a welcome peace.
I admit there are some wounds I have brought to forgiveness only to realize in the process that I had to come back to the story my pain told and dig out of what were heavy and complicated feelings more than once. I now see how returning to forgiveness often for past and present wounds is a good thing. We are given the gift of self-awareness that allows us to live a more humble and fulfilling life.
Our stories teach us daily. I am beginning to believe that there is never an end point. I have learned more from healing than I ever believed possible when I am not afraid to return to those wounds, the lessons, and the healing process.
The important piece for me is to not stay in the darkness that can consume our breath and leave us lifeless. We must continually look for the streams of light shining through at the most unexpected times to teach us over and over that it is possible.
Though it is important to point out that just because we have found forgiveness, we do not have to put ourselves back into a situation or presence that is still harmful. We can move on.
I think some situations of forgiveness warrant working through the pain and moving forward with those who hurt you, while other situations are definitely not a place to stay planted in. Each person must work out that journey for themselves and the situations that find them.
What story do you need to heal from?
What story have you repeated to yourself over and over that you need to retell in a new light?
Do not let empathy impede on your self-respect and rob people of experiencing the consequences of their actions, but allow yourself the human act of forgiving for you and you alone.
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.