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What is forgiveness, really?

I used to see posts on Facebook or Twitter saying, “Just forgive and let go.” And I’d think to myself, “Yeah, right. That sounds great but HOW do you do that?” It’s a great idea…genius, forgive and let go… IF. YOU. CAN.

Truth is just 5 years ago I didn’t understand what forgiveness meant, for myself or others and until that point, I gave it very little thought. We have all felt the heaviness and hardship of allowing anger and resentment take over, even if only from time to time, and it is not good. The sun does shine as brightly. Our food loses its flavor. Everything we do seems to come out a mess.

Since 2008 I have been obsessively searching for ways to heal the mind, body, and spirit. I wanted to know exactly how we genuinely forgive someone for hurting us and how that could make us feel better, happier. When I started this endeavor, I just wanted to feel better inside and let go of decades of hurt I have been carrying on my back as if they were mementos from an adventurous journey.

What is Forgiveness

Simply put, forgiveness is a grant of pardon and cease to feel resentment against a person. Many of us withhold forgiveness because they believe forgiveness lets the person off the hook, but that’s not the case.

What Forgiveness is Not

What I have found by practice and in discussions with clients is, it’s often easier to forgive when we understand what we are NOT doing when we forgive. When we understand what forgiveness is, we can release the pain and forgive more freely.

  • Forgiveness is not acting as if nothing has happened. Something did happen and it’s important to understand the lesson that caused the wrong, so it’s not repeated.
  • Forgiveness is not excusing the person for their actions. We excuse someone when they are not to blame for a wrongdoing.
  • Forgiveness is not letting someone continue to hurt you.
  • Forgiveness is not condoning hurtful behavior yesterday, today or tomorrow.
  • Forgiveness is not reconciling. If and when you allow someone you have forgiven back into your life is entirely up to you.

Once I realized what forgiveness was not, moving forward and letting go became much easier.

Have struggled to forgive others or yourself?  Know you are not alone.  This is one of those things no one really talks about that we all need to know so we can work our way through tough circumstances and experiences.

As always, please share your comments, questions, and thoughts below, or by emailing me at Carmen[at]WellbeingMessenger[dot]com. I am here to help you create a life worth living so you can stop surviving and start thriving.

Until next time, live with passion, purpose, and play.

With gratitude,

Carmen Xx The Wellbeing Messenger
Growth ~ Marketing ~ Performance
Author, Motivational Speaker, Mentor, Mother, Wife, and Lover of Life

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