Peace of Mind 2 - True Forgiveness
The differences between forgiveness and true forgiveness
My previous article was about peace of mind and focused on recognizing and acting on methods to eliminate stress for a healthier lifestyle. This article, Peace of Mind 2, digs deeper into eliminating stress in your life through understanding true forgiveness.
What is forgiveness? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary define forgiveness as follows: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong): to stop blaming (someone): to stop feeling anger about (something): to stop requiring payment of (money that is owed)
I somewhat agree with the definitions, but would like to dig deeper.
I believe that forgiveness is an emotional and mental attitude to let go of resentment. Basically, it is just a head game. This doesn’t mean that all things immediately start from scratch and your feelings are back to normal with the person that offended you. Healing is a process and the time it takes is different for everyone. For instance, have you ever been in a situation where you’re having a great day then suddenly, a thought pops into your mind about a person or thing that caused you stress? You do what you can to remove the thought or image, but it overwhelms your mind and affects your mood. I consider what just happen as a mental and spiritual bondage and you are not completely freed from the situation.
So, what is true forgiveness? I define true forgiveness as being able to break the bondage that is holding you back mentally and spiritually.
True forgiveness is about making the decision to let go in your mind and your heart. So, if a thought or image populates in your mind that caused stress in the past, it shouldn’t emotionally affect you at all. You need to forgive not just in your head, but in your heart. The combination breaks the chain of bondage and you’re truly free.
When you truly forgive, the effects are tremendous and beneficial. You’re able to really springboard into a new relationship or life activity without being anchored down to the past. Your body reacts positively as well. You wake up feeling happier and energetic and this can lead to an alleviation of depression and anxiety.
If it was meant to be then it shall be! Stand courageous in your position despite the odds.
Another benefit of true forgiveness is the possibility of rekindling a lost relationship. I recognize that not all relationships are meant to be reestablished, but if it was an important part of your life then do not allow stubbornness or conceit to hinder your blessing potential. I recently amended a relationship with a life-long friend of mine and I feel good about the decision. We had misunderstandings and disagreements on some other level that resulted in us not seeing eye to eye. We walked away from a life time of memories with the possibility of no return. Over a period of about six months, I felt remorseful because I had not truly forgiven my friend about what happened. I was at a place that it really didn’t matter what happened or who was to blame for the disbandment, but what I did know is that I didn’t want to lose my friend forever. Our friendship was more important to me than our misunderstandings and I courageously decided to reach out. Initially, she was skeptical about my re-introduction. I expressed how I felt about the matter and gave her time to process our conversation despite my feelings of vulnerability of rejection. It took about three months for her to come to grips that I was sincere about reestablishing our friendship and now it is stronger than ever.
I spoke with the same friend recently and she suggested that I should not write Peace of Mind part two because I was still processing pains caused by people in my past. I respected her opinion, but decided to move forward and write about what was on my heart. All people go through hard seasons, but I realized that I had allowed certain seasons to live in me. Seasons of sorrow and pain defined my daily approach to life at one point, but fortunately, I have a fighter’s spirit. I battled emotionally and learned that I should never allow an experience to own me, but rather teach me. Additionally, never allow a person to label you based on a season. You have lived many seasons and there is more living to be done.
Forgiveness is a gift to you. Do not allow your mind or influences from others to convince you that it is for the weak. Some may say that he or she does not deserve forgiveness. To the contrary, it is a sign of strength and you reap the benefits. Note: (I caution those who choose to maintain a rock-hard heart because it can lead to disaster).
Personally, I feel better emotionally and spiritually because I have truly chosen to forgive and now I can dedicate myself to achieving happiness. Surprisingly, I have not developed a heart of bitterness during my time in the pit. Being in the bottom of the pit has forced me to look up at the light above. I am not seeking revenge or looking for ways to settle the score. I am not saying that I am completely healed from my past challenges, but those that know me understand that I recognize something greater than myself. It was meant for me to encounter the challenges in my life because I can now help others during their struggles. I have been redeemed every time despite my hardships. I will get through this and so will you!
Holding on to grudges is an anchor in your life. Break the chain with true forgiveness and keep it moving. Finally, I forgive because I love my self. I refuse to allow the power of un-forgiveness to toxify my life. My greatest learning is that true forgiveness is forgiving someone even if they never say “I am sorry”.