By Jenner | December 17, 2010 at 04:07 PM EST | No Comments
Rule #2: Forgive for yourself not for the other person.
I recently had a conversation about forgiveness with a friend who is deep in the beginning of the process in order to save her relationship. It resinates. I probably had my biggest lesson in forgiveness over the past couple years of my life and I will tell you this, forgiveness is definitely not a light switch that just all of a sudden flips on when you have reached a certain point. It is something that you do every single day and over time becomes only a situational practice when you are faced with emotional triggers.
She asked me, "What is forgiveness? I don't think I actually know what it is, just that I need to do it." My answer is this, forgiveness is about accepting and letting go in order to move forward with yourself. Forgiveness is not about the other person. It is about you and your healing process. (PLEASE NOTE* I speak of forgive and it by no means means forget. I will never forget, but I can control forgive.) It's about looking at yourself, taking responsibility for your part and forgiving them for theirs.
No one walks the same path in life so everyones's timeline for forgiveness is unique to their pain and situation. Most of the time it won't happen over night. It may not even happen for years but I promise it will happen when YOU allow it. The longer you hold onto the situation, the longer it will take for you to move forward. It has already taken enough of you so don't continue to feed it by remaining stuck. Forgive to let go. Forgive to move forward. Forgive for yourself.
I forgave so that I could keep going. I forgave so that my life would not be filled with harbored resentment, anger, embarrassment, shame and humiliation. I forgave for the person that I will love in my future. I forgave because what the other person has to answer for at the end of their life is more than what you could make them answer for in this one. I forgave to free myself from the past. I forgave for me.
Forgiveness is something every single one of us will face at some point, if not multiple points, in our lives. I know the process is easier said than done, trust me. So many "why's" combined with pain and a lack of trust makes for a tough road of hard work ahead of you. But always remember, things that are really worth it are usually the one's that require the most work. Freeing yourself from a hurtful situation in the past is worth it. Life is too short to dwell. Face the situation head on, do not be embarrassed that some where it went wrong, accept the truth, forgive yourself and last but not least forgive them. You can't erase the past but you can control what you write in your future.