Forgiveness is a topic near and dear to my heart! I was reflecting today about all the times in my life when I held myself back because I was unwilling to let something go. I held on stubbornly to a relationship, friends, and even a house that no longer served a positive purpose in my life. I failed to practice forgiveness . . . after all true forgiveness is to release and let go.
We often mistakenly think of forgiveness as implying we’re “okay” with the actions of another person or the outcome of something that’s happened to us. But this could not be further from the truth! To forgive something is simply to let it go. You make peace with it, release it, and say it no longer affects your “now” or current situation. When practicing forgiveness, you are entitled to your feelings of how someone or something may have hurt you, but you make the choice going forward that it will no longer be a part of your life. You decide deliberately not to focus your attention on that event or person. You file it away in your past.
Forgiveness is similar in concept to releasing a debt. You no longer expect payment on the debt and you cut you losses. You don’t say the debt was never owed, nor do you say it’s okay the debt was not paid. You simply say “forgiveness is to release and let go,” and you move your life forward.
Real forgiveness does take a lot of practice because it’s easy to keep redirecting our attention back to what went wrong. But I’ve personally found that when I made the concerted effort to let something go, my life is so much better.
For me, the toughest releasing came in the form of a relationship. I held on much too long after I realized this wasn’t the person I could spend the rest of my life with. I feared I would not find someone better. But, finally one day, I’d had enough, and I said goodbye. I did it kindly, but firmly. I never said the hurtful events associated with this person didn’t occur; rather, I choose to no longer allow those events to take up space in my mind. Most important, I’ve never looked back, fearing I had made a mistake. It was simply time to release the relationship and let him go.
When we practice forgiveness, we take away our lessons learned from the situation. We can also choose not to repeat the lesson in the future. There are no mistakes in life; there are simply learning opportunities for our highest good.
This week, I ask you to practice forgiveness. Find one aspect of your life that you’ve held on to for much too long and simply say, “Forgiveness is to release and let go. I now release you (or this situation) from my life, and I look forward to all the good that I will attract by doing so.” Notice how awesome you feel when you make that decision and the sense of peace that surrounds you as a result. XO Shari