Thursday, March 26, 2009

Who do You Need to Forgive?


[Video is Wamdue Project "Forgiveness".]

True forgiveness can change your life and free you to be the person you really want to be. Forgiveness of self (first!) and others will give you a peace that truly passes all understanding and you will expand your sense of purpose and self-worth immensely.

Everyone has been hurt by someone and has hurt someone else without exception. No one starts out enlightened and free from the Ego and its drive to survive even at the expense of others. The question is what have you done with those hurts and emotions? Most of us carry those hurt feelings and thoughts around as burdensome psychological baggage for most of our lives without knowing we can be free from their weight and destruction. Worse may be the acting out of those hurts by defaming or tearing down verbally the person at every opportunity or at least harboring ill feelings and thoughts about them anytime they crossed our minds. Dare we admit that we may have even wished ill or cursed those that hurt us?

We call such behavior and harboring of hurts "resentments". Resentments end up hurting us more than the actual word or act that may have "caused" them in us. Resentments are like reliving and heightening the original hurt over and over allowing it to poison us long after the perpetrator has forgotten about the wrong. The damage of resentment goes far beyond emotional or mental pain and can actually end up making you physically sick, as well.

Forgiveness can heal that and change you and the way you think and feel.

We are often "in the wrong" ourselves so we must begin our change and healing by forgiving ourselves first. In fact, the key to true forgiveness may lie in the fact that the very resentment you feel toward someone else may be rooted in the need to forgive yourself and not the other person. Forgive yourself for harboring the ill feelings. Forgive yourself for the self-torment you put yourself through by feeding the resentments and allowing them to grow. Forgive ourselves for even remotely believing the untruth or insult to our egos. Forgiving ourselves first breaks the cycle of victimization we draw comfort from and brings to light the truth that we are not victims no longer. Not forgiving ourselves is even more emotionally destructive than not forgiving others.

There are definite health benefits outside of the spiritual and emotional benefits we glean from true forgiveness. Did you know that forgiveness reduces anxiety and stress which helps keep your heart healthier. Forgiveness alleviates feelings of depression and anger and aggressive behaviors. All of this also reduces your heart rate and improves blood pressure. The risk of alcohol and drug abuse are greatly reduced through forgiveness and even chronic pains that before had remained unexplained disappear. Probably best of all is that the control you have given to someone else over your own thoughts and actions is broken and you are finally free from the curse or spell accepted by your mind.

All this improved emotional, physical and spiritual health through forgiveness assists us in creating better loving relationships and makes it much easier to mend the damage we unintentionally put on them. Not only that but we are more prone to create new relationships without the burden of past hurts to haunt us and hold us down and prevent us from being the best us we can be.

So forgiveness is not about us doing something for someone else as much as it about doing something for ourselves. Forgiveness is for us... not for them. They must deal with their own self forgiveness and cannot be freed through you only forgiving them.

Work on self forgiveness through meditation and journal writing. It is definitely an inside job but don't feel shy about seeking outside assistance from a trusted mentor or professional counselor.

Real forgiveness of self and others will change your life and how you perceive the world around you. You will experience a Peace like never before and a freedom to be true to yourself and not live under the bondage of resentment.

For more insight on Forgiveness read "Forgiveness... What's It For?" by Larry James.

8 comments:

GeologyJoe said...

i have more appologies than forgiveness to send out.
has the time passed on them? no, i think Ill start send thme out.

Tony said...

GeoJoe ~ I do not think there is a statute of limitations on apologies or forgiveness so go ahead and do either or both as you deem necessary for yourself.

OMYWORD! said...

Most of us are hardest on ourselves, at least I know I am, so forgiving myself is a biggie. I have also had glimpses of the freedom that comes when you forgive others. It's hard-won sometimes, letting go of wrongs. Usually, it's harder because we've been "wronged" in similar ways before, and haven't forgiven them either, so it's compounded... with interest. :-( So, it's best to forgive on a daily basis, before it builds up.

Thanks for this message, Tony. It's something I needed to hear.

Tony said...

OMyWord! ~ We are definitely (usually) more hard on ourselves. Which reminds me of something some wise person once told me... "We are willing to allow someone to hurt or abuse us ONLY to the point that we are abusing ourselves already." That gives one something to think about as we look at the relationships we are involved with. Is the success of the forgiveness of others based upon the level of forgiveness we are willing to give ourselves first? We must forgive ourselves for allowing that person to hurt us to the level we were already harming ourselves.

MentalOrgasm.Org said...

I'd be interested on seeing a study about the therapeutic value of some well deserved revenge.

Tony said...

MentalOrgasm ~ Ah, your statement is filled with all sorts of things to be discussed... i.e. is revenge ever deserved and can there be any therapeutic value to revenge with the exception of the realization that taking revenge does not work to ease the pain or to correct anything. That being said, then maybe revenge can lead to or aide in the enlightenment of an individual but I would posit that is a rare instance, indeed, and not a worthy or productive path.

Abby Taylor said...

Nice post.

Tony said...

Abby Taylor ~ Thank you, Abby. I take that as a high compliment coming from you since I admire your work so much. Good to see you again!

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