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Forgiveness or No Forgiveness, The Choice is Yours

This wonderful message comes from Seth Godin.  A writer I love to hear from through his blogs. I have only added some PMA for an extra touch.

“Attitude is everything, young or old!”  Gray Lawrence

When access to information was limited we needed to load students with facts. Now, when we have no scarcity of facts, or the access to them, we need to load them up with understanding. Seth Godin

Has anyone ever said or done anything unforgivable to you? Something so awful you know you can never forgive them?

Probably this strikes a bell with most of my readers. It would certainly be rare to find someone who has never been mistreated, never misunderstood, never abused in one way or another. In some cases the abuse may have been particularly nasty. Something you would much rather forget, but find you cannot.

Does this person deserve your forgiveness? Probably not. Should you forgive them? Absolutely!

Why do I say this? If they don’t deserve your forgiveness, why should you forgive them? Am I trying to turn you into a saint or something?

No. I am not saying this to make you a “goody goody”. And I am certainly not suggesting you should allow anyone to take advantage of you. So why I am saying it?

The reason is that I believe you deserve to be free. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be able to do whatever you wish in life and not be weighed down carrying a load dumped on you by someone else.

If there is anyone you have not forgiven for what they have done or said to you this means you are allowing that person to control your life. You are giving them the ultimate victory over you. Is that what you want? If not, you simply have to find a way to forgive them.

Some of you may now be saying “it’s all very well for you to say that, but you don’t know how I have suffered! You cannot understand just how bad this was!”

I agree I cannot know what it is like to suffer in the way you may have suffered. To use a common Christian saying, we each have our own cross to bear. The one you are bearing may be far heavier than mine. But even though I cannot understand just how bad it was for you, what I do understand is that you are now carrying an unnecessary burden. Just like “Christian” in John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”. Christian was carrying a burden so heavy he could hardly move. So are you if there is someone you have not forgiven. Your happiness is marred because every so often you think of this unforgivable thing that was done to you and it spoils what would otherwise be a lovely moment in a lovely day. Why not simply throw that burden away? It is not stuck to you with superglue. You have chosen to carry it. Now you should choose to throw it away.

There may be others who will say “but there is nobody I haven’t forgiven! Nobody has done anything particularly bad to me!” If so, you are very fortunate! But I would suggest there are probably some slights, some grievances, some humiliations that your conscious mind has forgotten but are still bubbling away somewhere under the surface. You do not feel desperately unhappy, but because there are some unforgiving words and actions loitering in your unconscious mind what could be a really happy moment is, instead, just mildly pleasant. These unforgiving things are stopping you reaching your full potential. They are controlling you.

Would you like to free yourself of this burden? Great!

The first thing you must do is find all the actions and words you have not yet forgiven. Some may be easy to find. Others will be hiding under the surface. Sit quietly and let them come to you.

Now, for each unforgiving act or word find the person. Picture that person in your mind. Say to them “I forgive you”. At first you will probably feel silly. But don’t worry about that. Nobody is watching you. Nobody is laughing at you. This is something you are doing for yourself so you can be happier.

As you do this you will find a part of your mind will tell you that this person does not deserve your forgiveness. You can immediately dispel that thought by saying “they may not deserve it, but I am forgiving them for me, not for them!” This other part of your mind may say it was totally wrong of them to do this to you. Respond by saying “I am not the one who will judge them for it, and I am not asking them or anyone else to do this again to me, I am just letting go so this act no longer controls me. I forgive!”

If you are a Christian you should remember the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer “Forgive me my wrongdoings as I forgive those who have done wrong to me”? Whether or not you are a Christian this is a phrase I would like you to remember and use. When you forgive others you will find that forgiveness of yourself comes quite naturally too. But give it a helping hand anyway. Add your own wrongdoings now. See them clearly and then forgive yourself. As long as you have forgiven others you should find you are now able to forgive yourself. When you do you really should find you feel light and buoyant. You have let go of your burden.

Try to perform this act of forgiveness every day. I suggest you do it last thing at night before you go to sleep, as you should find your sleep will then be that much more refreshing. Try it, let go, don’t allow anyone to control you any more and see just how much difference this makes in your life!

I may add the following: should you the reader be the person to improve and or agree to what Seth wrote, may I be the first to congratulate you on being a good person..

Try to be like the turtle – at ease in your own shell. – Bill Copeland

Anything in life that we don’t accept will simply make trouble for us until we make peace with it. Shakti Gawain

Your Vision of the future, lies from within

Gray Lawrence

The greatest freedom is to be responsible. –Lazaris

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Gray Lawrence

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