Forgiveness isn't for the person who harmed you. It's for you. It is letting go of the idea that the past can somehow be different. There is no changing what has already happened. We know this on a logical level. It's the emotional level that gets us every time. So let's examine what's really going on when we don't forgive.
When we withhold forgiveness, our ego has taken over and keeps us locked in a prison of our own doing. Each of us has the key to our prison, but our egos take over with a vengeance. We have an emotional attachment to having been wronged. And the ego seeks justice, even revenge. But it's not our job to seek justice or revenge.
When harm is done to someone, the Universe takes care of balancing the energies, in its own good time, on no one's schedule, with no input from anyone. That's not punishment or justice, it's simply a Universal Law. But when we hold onto the ego's version of what should have happened, we are living in a reality that doesn't exist. We were harmed by the actions of someone else. There is nothing we can do to change that.
Forgiveness is the key to unlocking the otherwise impossible to open prison door. But what about the key to forgiveness?
Forgiveness doesn't mean that what the person did was okay. What was done was not okay and will never be okay. Forgiveness doesn't mean we have to have a relationship with the person who harmed us. Heck, chances are the person who harmed us isn't even alive anymore. This is especially true if we were wronged in childhood.
When we understand the ego's hold on us and why, we can re-frame the end result of the wrongdoing. We can then ask ourselves, what positive attributes did this experience reveal about me?
- I'm stronger than I realized.
- I stood up for myself at a critical time.
- I now know that I alone choose where my life is going.
Forgiveness is the gift you give to your Self. Forgiveness will take you from broken to broken open, where compassion and understanding will thrive. And so will you.
What is the positive about yourself that you can take away from a hurtful experience?