Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Time to Forgive

I've been meaning to write another post on self improvement, but somehow life has caught up with me. Plus, I felt that I needed a little bit more inspiration before I could do another round of original article.

Then I came upon an idea for a good topic. I was inspired by a newsletter article I read on the topic of forgiveness. One must admit that it is hard to live life without being wronged or having wronged someone else. Forgiveness is the key to living a life of peace and joy.

I would agree that forgiveness is an important part of self development. But what is forgiveness and why is it important? Let's take a closer look.

In Will Edwards's article, he pointed out what forgiveness is and what it isn't. To forgive means to release any feelings of resentment, anger, bitterness or even hatred that you may have about a past event. Forgiving someone does not mean that he or she is absolved or released from the consequences of his or her act, esp. if it's a criminal act. You can be forgiven and still be required to face justice. Of course, the reverse can be true as well.. you can be absolved from your act and still not be forgiven.

I remember my late dad again. He used to say that "forgiveness is not the same as reparation." Forgiving is a way of letting go of negative emotions that you may be harboring towards someone. You are in reality burdening yourself by carrying the load of negative emotions.

Will pointed out that there are three separate acts of forgiveness that we need to perform. They are:

1. Your Parents

If both your parents are still around, consider yourself lucky. Do me a favor and thank them. Give them a hug and tell them you love them. I truly would agree with Will that you need to forgive your parents. Sure they may have made mistakes and a few bad decisions in the past, but that's just a part of being human.

I would say that if there's one thing I regret it's not getting the chance to thank my late dad for all that he was and what he has done for me. I actually didn't realize how much I've learned from him until he was gone. Whatever you mentally hold your parents responsible for, let it go. Forgive them.

2. Yourself

I've done a few mistakes in the past. But if you ask me now whether I want to go back and change them, I probably wouldn't. After all, I wouldn't be the ME of today if I wasn't the ME of yesterday. For a long time in the past, one of my challenges was forgiving myself for my own mistakes. I've moved on ever since and definitely feel much lighter.

Forgive yourself for all the things you know you did wrong, all your failures and mistakes. True, you may continue to make some wrong decisions from time to time. For as long as you know that you're doing your best, accept the consequences and let it all go.

3. Everyone Else

You do need to learn to forgive everyone else. I must admit this isn't easy to do. But you can work on it. Remind your subconscious mind that you forgive that person whenever the thought of a bad incident comes to mind. You will eventually come to accept the forgiveness.

Forgiveness is important as it enables you to let go of any feelings of anger and bitterness. It frees you from the burden of carrying a heavy load so to speak. Negative feelings only harm the person holding them. Sometimes, it takes time to forgive if you've been badly hurt. Give yourself time. But know that you would need to forgive later on in order for you to fully move on in your life.