Today, In our journey to releasing our dependency on “Hopium”,
We are going to learn how to forgive yourself and others,
We are also going to explore different ways to let go of anger and resentment, and be free once more.
This process of learning how to forgive has been one of the greatest, most challenging, and highly rewarding experiences I have personally been through.
It has completely transformed my life and my relationships – so I think it likely that you’ll benefit from it as well.
To start with, we need to acknowledge that we
create an insane amount of suffering in our lives
by holding onto grudges and resentment.
What’s interesting, is that 100% of the time, our lack of forgiveness only makes things much worse.
Not only does it build up like a poison inside of us and disconnects us from others, but it also pretty much ensures that we will get hurt again.
We carry a weight that we just can’t seem to let go of, and it just gets heavier every day because–contrary to the old adage–time, in and of itself, heals nothing.
The good news is, you can let it all go.
So let’s get right to it.
What is Forgiveness?
Well, to put it simply, it just means to give as before.
To love as before.
To care as before.
To give in a relationship the way you gave before the perceived transgression took place, much as a child would.
It does NOT mean forget.
It does not mean that you’ll trust the person who hurt you again.
You might, but it’s important to recognize that there are people in your life that you shouldn’t trust for a reason
If someone stole your money in the past, you just don’t go handing them your checkbook.
…But that doesn’t mean you can’t allow yourself to forgive them.
Why Do We Choose Not to Forgive?
Now, this may seem obvious, but it’s actually really helpful to identify why we would choose not to forgive, and why we are so freaking stubborn.
Although it’s completely irrational, the raw, underlying reason we don’t forgive is that we are seeking to punish ourselves or others.
We are just trying to punish.
And although we may like to tell ourselves otherwise, there is nothing productive about this.
No good comes from our resentment.
For some reason we feel like by holding on to it, it somehow teaches a lesson.
This is utterly delusional.
We have this crazy idea that if we were to forgive them and let it go…
We would be sending them the message that what they did was okay, justified, or permissible.
We hold on and on because we are afraid they won’t be punished or learn their lesson if we let go.
Even if the other person has moved on, it’s like your sinking hooks into them and saying, “Nu-uh! We are going to stay stuck forever.”
And what’s odd is a lot of times, there are people you are holding grudges against who have no idea that they hurt you in any way, so your attempts to punish them are going utterly unnoticed, while they move on and live their life!
Now we may be tempted to feel like it’s useful to hold a grudge with the intention of protecting ourselves from further pain and harm.
But we must understand that trust is a completely different animal, and we can make far more accurate judgment calls when we are no longer blinded by our resentment.
Okay, so we’ve talked a lot about why we don’t forgive.
But how do we actually forgive and quit playing this game that just keeps up stuck?
Here are 5 of my favorite methods for finding
Realize that the hate you feel toward your adversary does not harm him or her in the way that you want.
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for it to kill your enemy.”
Understand that the best revenge against your enemies is to live a successful and happy life.
Want to get even with someone who tried to destroy you? Show them and show yourself (and the world) that the obstacles they tried to create were not significant enough to disable you and/or destroy you.
Look for the helpers.
Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) related that, as a little boy, he’d often become upset about major catastrophes in the news. His mother would tell him, “look for the helpers.” In your own nightmarish experience, think back to the people who helped you. Think about their kindness and selflessness Practice what you have learned from them.
Be compassionate with yourself.
If you’ve ruminated over this problem for a long time, steering this boat into a new direction could take some time, too. As you try to make a new path out of the dark woods of this old hurt, you’ll make mistakes. Forgive yourself. Be patient and kind to yourself.
Learn that the Aramaic word for “forgive” means literally to “untie.
” The fastest way to free yourself from an enemy and all associated negativity is to forgive. Untie the bindings and loosen yourself from that person’s ugliness. Your hatred has tied you to the person responsible for your pain. Your forgiveness enables you to start walking away from him or her and the pain. Forgiveness is for you and not the other party. Freeing yourself through forgiveness is like freeing yourself from chains of bondage or from prison.
We’ve all been hurt by another person at some time or another —
we were treated badly,
trust was broken,
hearts were hurt.
And while this pain is normal,
sometimes that pain lingers for too long.
We relive the pain over and over, and have a hard time letting go.
We need to learn to let go.
We need to be able to forgive, so we can move on and be happy.
Forgiveness can change your life.
Forgiveness does not mean you erase the past, or forget what has happened.
It doesn’t even mean the other person will change his behavior —
You cannot control that.
All it means is that you are letting go of the anger and pain, and moving on to a better place.
It’s not easy.
But you can learn to do it.