A part of the process of emotional healing involves looking at how our past may be affecting our current reality.
Ironically, it means that in order to let go of the past we need to embrace it first.
But how do we embrace a painful experience from our past?
How can we move from feeling victimized by our life situation to feeling empowered?
How do we let go of something that has hurt us so much?
Part of the answer to these questions is through the art of forgiveness.
Oftentimes when we think of forgiveness we picture the person we feel has hurt us admitting to their actions and coming to us and asking for our forgiveness.
But herein lies the problem—you can never be in control of what another person will say or do. If we choose to wait for others to say I’m sorry and to admit that they have done us wrong somehow, we could be waiting a lifetime. And that is exactly what some people do.
When we continue to place our energy in feeling hurt and resentful we are actually stopping ourselves from moving forward in life.
And yes, there is a time for grieving and for processing the pain of an event. That is a natural part of the healing process as well.
However, if you are stuck in the pain then you are actually preventing yourself from the greater learning in this situation and also subconsciously preventing yourself from living your fullest potential.
We give away our personal power when we make another person’s behaviour or admission of wrong doing the primary determining factor for our own healing and success in life.
So, what does it mean to forgive?
Forgiveness is not about condoning behaviour.
Forgiveness is actually a gift that you give to yourself so that you can begin to move forward.
Identify the situation that you are feeling hurt about and ask yourself, “Am I willing to let go of the need to be right?”
If the answer is yes, then you are ready to start the process of forgiveness.
Forgiveness dares you to imagine a better future for yourself.
A future that is not rife with pain; but rather a future where you are learning and growing from this experience.
Dare yourself to imagine a future in which you are confident as a result of surviving this experience.
Dare yourself to imagine a better world because of your experience.
Remember forgiveness is not about condoning behaviour or waiting for someone else to change.
Forgiveness is the experience of finding internal peace.
Part of growing up emotionally means that we need to address the uncomfortable parts of life and move through the pain and discomfort.
The act of forgiveness can help us do just that, so that we can choose to go on living.
Annie Hopper is a brain retraining specialist and core belief counsellor.