Breaking down the prison and letting the inmate free is one of the best things you can do to truly create happiness in your life. You may say, "I am not holding anyone in a prison," but in reality everyone creates a prison - and the inmate you are trying to set free is yourself. This prison is created by not forgiving. In fact, many times unforgiveness is the biggest piece of baggage that you can carry. Your baggage could be from a parent, friend, significant other or coworker - anyone that was not there for you, abused you, took advantage of your trust or harmed you emotionally. Often we hold resentments thinking we are somehow getting the other person back; however, they are not affected by our refusal to forgive, we are.
"Resentment is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die" - Buddha
Forgiveness... What is it?
I always saw forgiving people that hurt me as being a really hard thing to do. It seemed unfair for them to receive forgiveness when it was me who was hurting. I was the one in pain, and they got the freedom without having to pay for the pain they caused. Until I learnt that forgiveness is releasing the feeling that the other person owes us something... And freeing ourselves from anger and the poison of bitterness and resentment. You may believe that forgiveness is challenging, that you are 'letting the other person off the hook' or allowing them to repeat the same behaviour over and over. But when you understand who forgiveness is truly for - YOU - then it becomes easier. When you practice forgiveness you will feel empowered. Forgiveness is freedom, it frees YOU. I now realise this. I am happier and feel better physically and mentally when I'm not filled with the poison of unforgiveness.
Many times in our lives we make mistakes. Forgiving ourselves for these mistakes releases the feelings of guilt we then will carry if we choose to continue without forgiveness. There are two things that our minds do when we feel guilty. One of them is to try to repay or make right our mistake, often excessively. If we feel that there is nothing we can do to make something right, the second option we choose unconsciously, is to punish ourselves. Your guilt has no benefit. What has happened has happened and can not be undone. Even more importantly, choosing to feel guilty causes you further pain in your life. Forgive yourself and let it go. Free yourself from the burden of carrying it with you.
"True justice is paying once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once. Animals pay once, humans pay thousands of times. Every time we remember we judge ourselves and feel guilt over and over again." - Edgar Cayce
Release any expectations you have from anyone else. This includes expectations of forgiveness or apologies from others or changes in others' behaviours. Forgiving doesn't mean accepting unacceptable behaviour, but if the persons behaviour stays the same, it is your responsibility to free yourself from the pain of resentment and do what's right for you.
Live and be Free! Forgiveness is about personal power. Take your power back and focus on your vision of life and how you want it to be. Forgive because you want to live you life with freedom and happiness. Forgiveness is often an opportunity to learn, grow and heal. You may even find that the negative experiences were blessings in disguise if you can create a place for forgiveness and acceptance in your heart. Remember, forgiveness is 100% your responsibility. Only you can unlock the door to your prison and change your life from limitation to freedom and joy.
Thank you for reading ❤️