Take Back Your Power With Forgiveness
Think back to a time when you were wronged by someone. Besides entertaining the ideas of sweet revenge, did forgiving the offender ever cross your mind? Maybe. Maybe not.
Often, when people are working on forgiving someone who offended them, the misconception of forgiving for the offender’s sake comes up. It is like saying I’m forgiving them because they should be pardoned for the offense so they can move on. But, not everyone chooses that idea and not everyone chooses to forgive.
It seems that it was commonplace to equate the act of forgiveness with weakness. Thankfully, that notion is far from the truth. In fact, thinking that offender doesn’t deserve the forgiveness leads the victim to live in fear of being hurt again. Why risk a potential life of blessings to be held back from one situation? But, it happens and it keeps happening until we surrender to forgiveness.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t always a forgiving person.
I remember thinking how can forgiving the offender be a positive thing? When I think back to all the hurtful things that were said and done, approaching it with forgiveness seemed like a hard pill to swallow. My ego wouldn’t allow it. In retrospect and with full clarity, I realized how helpful forgiveness can actually be. It is actually a compelling step to reclaim your power you gave up when you became a victim. But, first it required acknowledging that the ego needs to take a backseat.
If your decision to forgive is focused on him or her or is swayed by your view of the offender, the offender still has power over the situation.
A friend of mine couldn’t forgive her cheating husband of twenty plus years. In addition, he had a long time history of a drinking addiction combined with cocaine relapses. After some years, she finally divorced him but was left with a broken home, depressive thoughts and having to take a job she hated to keep up with mounting expenses.
When I asked her why couldn’t forgive her husband, she said that she is not sure that she can forgive someone who put her “through hell for so long.” After much conversation about forgiving her past, she had the opportunity to take back her power by forgiving her ex-husband.
My friend is very much aware that if they were to remarried (which she assured me that she would have to be high on drugs to even think of going back!), she would not be disappointed or hurt by him. She will be at peace with herself as she makes a beeline out the front door upon his first offense. She can now forgive and placed a higher value on her self-worth. It is this form of empowerment that makes forgiving so beneficial to the spirit.
The goal for forgiveness is simple and that is peace. Through this serenity, we feel empowered. We don’t need the offender to sober up or do what is right because they are not in charge of our inner well-being. This is why it is so liberating to move on from the offender whether if it works out or not. Yes, it is painful and pain is a part of the human experience that will happen but so is grieving and forgiving.
So many times we wish to put up walls to protect ourselves but it leads to long-term suffering. But there is danger to that way of thinking as we cope and the danger lies on how cold our hearts can get. Over time and at our own detriment, we lose touch with feelings, become numb and lose the ability to connect with the life energy, love.
Forgiveness is the ultimate practice to maintain our sanity, soften our hearts, and evolve our souls. The importance of forgiving is not for the offender, it is just for you. It is the empowering road that leads us back to the best version of ourselves.