Why You Must Forgive If You Are to Move On

 

Why You Must Forgive If You Are to Move on

Forgiveness is a concept that is often misunderstood. People think that if they forgive, then they give up power to the person or thing that is doing them harm. The power in forgiveness is letting go of past transgressions and letting go of the hurt that eats us from within. The other person does not necessarily have to accept your forgiveness or even know about it.

Forgiveness in this greater context also means to let go of past transgressions in things that you may or may not have done but should have. It is to accept whatever guilt and shame you may have. It is to accept things as they are.

Ultimately, it is accepting yourself as you are. The past should stay in the past, for then it will cease having the power to affect your present and your future. By continuing to dwell upon the transgressions of the past, you are only hurting yourself in the present and creating a future of more of the same.

Think of it another way: You have to make space for the good in your life. By holding onto past thoughts and feelings, you are in essence holding on to an old paradigm–an old system of beliefs and way of thinking and looking at the world. This in turn provides you with a limited view of the world. If you are to grow as an individual, you must make space. To expand awareness, perception, and mindset you have to first throw away the old beliefs that limit you.

Another form of refusing to forgive is in reveling like a victim. For instance, your father may have failed you as a father. So, you constantly blame him for why you have stymied in life. In other words, you are basically playing the blame game and living life as a victim.

It’s so much more proactive and productive to forgive and forget, forging ahead. We take ourselves out of the role of the victim into that of an empowered individual–an empowered individual with the ability and presence of mind to start creating and shaping our own futures.

To accept is to stop resisting and keep the past where it is–in the past. To forgive is to free yourself from that resistance, for what you keep resisting you will get more of.

Forgive and Move on

For years now, I have kept and continue to keep a Journal of Healing. In this journal, I have two main sections. First, I write about what is bugging me: It is basically a rant section, and I express exactly what is having power over me at the present moment. In other words, I start the healing process by first dumping all my baggage onto paper.

Sometimes, you have to first let yourself go and feel those emotions so that you can start the healing process.

In the second section is the healing section. After my rant, I discuss what I can do to fix the situation, if it’s possible. Sometimes, you will find yourself in a stalemate. Even then, you will start feel better. You may have to write about and re-hash the same thing over and over before you are finally able to let go and forgive. The idea is to incrementally heal yourself. If the object of your pain and regret is a person, write a “letter” to that person, raging against all wrongs they have done to you. But, hold on to that letter instead of delivering it. It’s just another way to deal with your emotions.

Sometimes, you may have to take it a step further and actually write the words of forgiveness. Or, even say them! After a bit of time will you notice that words have actual healing properties. Real forgiveness starts to pour into your heart.

Eventually, you will learn to forgive the person or your past mistakes. You still must do one other thing of paramount importance: You must forgive yourself.

For example, you may feel decades behind your peers because of your absentee father failing to teach you the basic tenets of life (socialization, networking, or just plain experience-building through hobbies that you now as an adult are trying to discover). Once you learn to forgive yourself, to realize that holding onto that past mistake and regret is only preventing you from getting what you want, even now, you will feel very free.

Think about it this way, by continuing to harbor the ill-feelings of the past and constantly bringing them into the present, you are only hurting yourself. The person that caused you harm probably doesn’t know this. Many times, they are simply too ignorant or fighting their own demons to know.

In the end, you will come to realize a simple truth: The fear and anger you feel is just the way you view the situation. It is your perception. It is your paradigm that limits your thinking and keeps you hurting.

By forgiving, you are opening yourself to new ways of thinking. You are expanding your perception and awareness. The freedom you find in forgiveness gives you permission to start taking responsibility and accountability towards seeing the world in a different light and towards finally getting what you want.

The road to success and happiness is wrought with perils and obstacles. By now, I hope that you have realized that happiness is a choice, that you practice gratitude and affirmations on a daily basis, that you accept failure is just a part of the learning process and life, that you often reframe your thoughts to turn the negatives into positives, and that you constantly delve in a self-help book or think about improving yourself because you know that man ultimately becomes what he thinks.

Add another tool to your belt: Learn forgiveness.


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Comments

  1. I used to think that forgiveness is difficult. But when you say You have to make space for the good in your life…. it totally makes sense. Thank you for sharing.
    Irene Soh recently posted…Easy Quick Fix Meals: Salmon TeriyakiMy Profile

  2. Very well said…
    I can remember a famous quote – To err is human, to forgive is divine..
    Amita Gulia Sehrawat recently posted…Good Girl – Good HumanMy Profile

  3. OH WOW! I really like this. Especially your healing journal. I like the fact that you have two sections. One for your rants. Then the other, for resolving. It’s like you’re talking to yourself to help yourself to fix the problem… GENIUS!

    But I often tell people, forgive and deal with them from a distant. It’s ok to forgive but be careful. Keep that guard up. Once is a mistake and twice is a choice.
    Janelle recently posted…Get Famous Blogging Book For Moms It’s NOT What I ExpectedMy Profile

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