Forgiving someone doesn’t mean forgetting. But forgiving does mean you can move on, clear the negative energy and open up your heart to the things you really want. Sound too good to be true? It's not!!
There are basically 3 types of forgiveness:
Indirect - happens inside of us. Where the hurt of the wrong doing either by you or another…action or result…is an internal heart-centered decision to forgive. This is where freedom and healing lives. I am willing to make this decision. It will may be challenging but continue to try and it will too. If it doesn’t seem to work…it may not be the right time or the process you are using is not working for you…
Direct is asking another to give to you or forgive you. This is conditional - I’ll forgive but you need something from the other.
Unforgiveness is an active choice to not forgive.
You turn on yourself or the other person and give the action or the other person more power.
What you resist persists…and can keep you stuck in past.
I remember when I was going through an incredibly difficult time with my first husband while he was in his active addiction...he was lying, cheating, stealing, blaming, and betraying...we were in counseling and the truth by him was still not being spoken. However, I knew the truth and I knew the problem was with him and his demons. I knew that I was caught in crossfire of his pain. I knew the good man that he was in his heart and soul. My dear friend at the time always asked, 'how can you know what you know, go to counseling and not hear the truth and yet go home and have a chicken dinner with him?' It was because I knew that I had to recognize the truth and forgive him as badly as he hurt me. At the time of his death, I had made peace with his actions and felt no burden by him nor his demons. We parted as friends with love. Not to say any of this was easy...NO...far from it...one of the most difficult times of my life...but without forgiveness, the pain and my emotional freedom would have been severely compromised.
Forgiving someone does NOT abstain them of what they’ve done wrong, no matter how serious or how simple the infraction. Forgiving is NOT about holding grudges or going after them for revenge. True forgiveness is quite the opposite: It’s a process for YOU to go through so you can move past the incident(s) and to put the person and the hurt feelings into the past so you can move happily into the future.
The act of forgiveness is freeing but it isn’t so easy in practice. According to spiritual leader and author Marianne Williamson, "Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness."
That said, there are lots of psychological and physical benefits we can receive from forgiveness. Studies have shown that the person who forgives will feel decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, (unhealthy) anger, and PTSD.
Are you not forgiving yourself in grief?
Are you blaming yourself for not being there when your loved died, or believing that you could have saved them or that somehow your action caused their death?
Forgiveness is part of acceptance…accept what happened.
When we judge ourselves, judgement demands punishment…we will punish ourselves or others if we continue to judge.
You can forgive the person and not the action.
Maybe you are not ready but perhaps this can help you to begin planting the seeds for future harvest.
Today I am eternally grateful for my first husband, for finding meaning in our lives together and his death, and the lessons that I learned from him. If not for him, I may not be in the beautiful position of serving others who may need support through forgiveness, grief or life.