Forgiveness Is The Gift You Give Yourself

 In America

Life is chock full of opportunities for us to feel pissed off, disappointed, hurt, betrayed—you name it—due to the behavior of people in our lives. Exes, kids, parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, all have the potential to fall short—or fail miserably—in our relationships with them, according to our expectations and hopes of how we’d like them to act. Our resulting negative emotions can absorb us to the point of obsession: we ruminate, replay events and conversations, maybe even entertain thoughts of revenge.

I find this mental process extremely uncomfortable when I’m locked in it. Especially when I keep returning to thoughts like “they should understand my point of view”, “they don’t appreciate everything I do and how hard try” or “ I can’t believe she said that about/to me!”  I need my mental and emotional energy to be available for the goals I’m trying to accomplish, not to be used up spinning in fruitless rumination about how “someone done me wrong”.
When these scenarios play out in my head I’m getting sucked back into that old belief that other people cause my negative emotions. But to live an empowered life, believing I’m a victim and nurturing self-pity can no longer be allowed! I’d like to suggest that you make this rule for yourself. Decide today that each time you notice yourself embracing self-pity, STOP. Instead, purposefully focus on the power you do have and use it.
There’s also a powerful path to release ourselves from this stagnant, poisonous and self-defeating emotional state. How? By deciding to forgive. Often we resist forgiveness because our brain seizes as the notion that we’re letting someone off the hook and letting them get away with whatever they’ve done. But here’s the truth, forgiveness is never about the other personit’s always about us. We give ourselves freedom when we forgive. Freedom from crappy thoughts and feelings that suck the life out of us.
Forgiveness is the gift we ourselves. Forgiveness frees us from any misconceived notion of victim-hood. Forgiveness reminds us that we’re all just human, doing the best we can. And sometimes the best we can do is terrible. Forgiveness fosters emotion freedom. And as we forgive others, we can forgive ourselves. We’re not going to get it right all the time–and neither are they. Life is imperfect. And that’s what being human is all about. 


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