Ah, forgiveness. One of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself. Why, then, do so few people give themselves that gift?
Because they confuse forgiveness with trust. And because they think that forgiveness lets the other person off the hook.
Both of those beliefs are wrong, but very very common.
The two have nothing to do with each other. Trust is about the wrong-doer, and forgiveness is not. And as for letting the other person off the hook, you’re in charge of that, not them.
When someone hurts or harms you, you’re right to be stingy with your trust for them. Depending on what they did and how they apologized, atoned or didn’t, you may or may not ever be able to trust them again. That’s completely up to you, and you need to make that decision carefully. Withholding your trust protects yourself, and there’s no one more important in your world than you. No one.
But you must forgive them if you want to stay on the path to a happier life. Forgiveness has nothing to do with them – it’s all about you. Just as acid corrodes the vessel that tries to hold it, bad feelings and thoughts corrode you. They hold you apart from the happiness you seek, and they are physically harmful to you, too. There are dozens of research studies that point to the correlation between negative emotions and heart disease, hypertension, stroke and even cancer. You owe it to yourself to forgive everyone right now.
It’s not necessary to “work through” past hurts to let them go. Take a short cut – just let them go. Quit telling the story, either inside your head or to others, of the bad things that have happened in your life. Quit feeling like a victim, and forgive the person who wronged you.
Then, forgive the person who has held you in that place of pain for so long – you. If you continue to hold on to past hurts, it’s like picking the scab on an unhealed wound – it will never heal that way, and neither will you.
For a happier life, forgive everyone, including you, right now, and see how much lighter your life will feel!
I’d love to hear about how forgiveness has worked for you – please contact me here by leaving a comment, or on my Facebook page and share your wisdom. And if you’d like a happiness quick tip to show up in your “in” box to start each week off right, sign up and it’s yours. Just scroll to the bottom of any page on my website – sandy j weaver dot com – the sign-up form is in the footer. Have a happier day…remember, you’re in charge!