The Biggest Lie About Forgiveness
Often been hurt by others and want them to apologize? But why wait for them to realize? Take the initiative to forgive them! Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a choice. Learn from your past mistakes and let go of the anger and bitterness. Forgiveness has its own benefits including emotional peace, better sleep, and healthier relationships.
I hate being lied to, don’t you? I hate believing something is true all my life and then suddenly being confronted with information that makes me realize I was actually believing a LIE all those years. It makes me angry and distrustful for a while. Who can you really trust?
I used to believe that I had to wait until certain conditions were met before I could forgive. For example, why should I forgive if the other person doesn’t say he/she is sorry? Why should I forgive anybody for anything? They are the ones who hurt me – they deserve to suffer, right? I have the right to stay angry and upset for as long as I want to – no one should tell me to forgive. They don’t deserve it!
Meaning Of Forgiveness
Then one day, I discovered the biggest LIE about forgiveness. I thought forgiveness was a feeling – I would forgive when I felt like forgiving. But guess what? Forgiveness is a CHOICE, not a feeling. Wow – who knew? That was a completely new way of looking at relationships. I could actually CHOOSE to let go of the anger and grudge I was holding against the other person by an act of my will. I didn’t have to wait for my feelings to ‘feel like’ doing it.
That was HUGE! I realized that my anger and bitterness were actually hurting me more than the other person. They had no clue that I was rehearsing the hurtful situation over and over in my mind late at night (and I couldn’t sleep). It made me angry at night and then it made me grumpy during the day. It affected my other relationships too – I was expecting people to hurt me and I was looking for a fight!
When I discovered the biggest lie about forgiveness, I realized, I could suddenly change my emotional experience of life. I could CHOOSE to let the anger and bitterness go as an act of my will. I was no longer a prisoner of what someone else had done to me! It was not easy the first time – it felt so unfamiliar. But once I did it, I was literally shocked by how much better I felt. So I did it again and again and again. I became a forgiveness junkie! Every single time I let something go from my past, I felt lighter and happier.
A few weeks later a co-worker remarked that I seemed to be smiling more. I knew I had more peace – I didn’t realize other people could see the changes in me too. I started learning to forgive at the end of each day – I slept so much better! Sleeping better seemed to give me more patience with people so I wasn’t irritated as easily. Practicing forgiveness gave me strength to trust again and my relationships got a lot more healthy.
So what was that LIE I believed? That forgiveness is a feeling – that I had to wait to ‘feel forgiving’ before I could forgive. The truth is that forgiveness is a CHOICE.
Here’s What I Did:
- I gave myself permission to let go of the anger and bitterness.
I didn’t have to wait for anyone to apologize in order to get rid of the bad feelings. I could do it myself.
- I tried to learn from the situation.
I asked myself, “How did I contribute to the problem?” and “Why did that make me so upset?” I often wrote my answers in my journal so that I could learn from my mistakes. I wasn’t completely innocent in the conflict. I played a part and I needed to learn from that.
- I chose to let it go – to forgive.
I found, it worked best to say it out loud when I was alone. I would acknowledge the pain and the one responsible and then forgive. For example, I would say, “I was really angry when you let me down. I trusted you and you betrayed my trust. But I’m not going to be a prisoner to the pain you caused me – I’m letting this go right now! I forgive you.”
I hope, you will try it. Your heart will thank you. I am certainly happy that I chose to forgive so I could be free of the prison of my anger and hurt. I sleep so much better, I have more peace than I thought was possible and my relationships are so much healthier. Forgiveness is a very powerful choice to make.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.