Grace is the way the universe forgives. Everyone needs forgiveness. Everyone has hurt someone; sometimes knowingly; sometimes inadvertently. Not forgiving the hurts done to you eats your heart and erodes your Emotional Intelligence.
The essence of forgiveness involves stopping the wrongful behavior, not repeating it and making amends. Not forgiving means carrying a painful memory around full time; some that to holding a hot ember in your heart. Not healthy.
Forgiveness does not mean approving of unacceptable behavior. Abuse can be forgiven, but never tolerated or permitted to continue. No one, child or adult can be allowed to hurt and abuse others. Forgiveness means stopping such behavior as well as ultimately letting go of the hatred and anger abuse creates.
Bishop Desmond Tutu, South African activist, said it best: “Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering–remembering and not using your right to hit back.”
Part of being able to forgive yourself or another involves letting go of past pain. Remember your brain does not want you to let go of pain because it teaches important lessons.
Pain reminds us to keep our hands out of the fire. Pain reminds us to enjoy the good when it comes. Pain reminds us to be careful about expecting more than we, or life, can deliver.
Pain also reminds us that we all make mistakes. We all need forgiveness for one thing or another. So pain hurts, but it also brings its gifts. Honor those gifts, let go of the rest.
A FORGIVENESS EXERCISE
Review the day. Examine a still painful negative from the day. Did someone treat you unfairly? Did another take without giving in return? Did someone break a promise? Betray a hope? Embarrass you in public? Say or do something cruel?
Perhaps the negative you need to let go of is some wrong you did. . Maybe you were angry or thoughtless and now regret your actions, Maybe you treated another person unfairly or too harshly. Perhaps the negative you need to let go of is some wrong you did
See the person who hurt you asking forgiveness. See the person you hurt forgiving you. Forgive all – if not completely, then as much as you can. To strengthen the power of this exercise, see the other person asking for forgiveness as a small child, chagrined and embarrassed.
If you need forgiveness, approach the person as a child. See the person you have wronged forgiving you and giving you a loving hug. Promise to make an amends, to do better in the future and then let go.
The more you practice forgiveness and letting go the easier it will become to free yourself of past hurts.
Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.
Thomas A. Kempis
Thank you for all you do.
P.S. Practice kindness by reading, liking, commenting or sharing this post. Think about buying one of my eBooks. They cost less than a latte, last longer, and are healthier. Go to Katherine Gordy Levine’s Author Page in other to see what is available.
P.S.S. These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.