Forgiveness? Do truly forgive others? Do you truly forgive yourself when you have failed in some way to
meet personal expectations?
I know there are times with myself when this has been difficult. True forgiveness is about forgiving from the heart, not the mind. We’ve all heard the line, “I may forgive them, but I certainly won’t forget”.
Think about those words. if you have said them, as I have in the past, that is not true forgiveness. I believe the only way we can truly forgive another, is in our hearts and in our prayers. When I feel someone else has done something I feel I deserve an apology for, and don’t get it, I pray for them, and their lack of understanding.
I pray for myself to have the ability to move on, and remember this: They know not what they do or say.
I believe true forgiveness, is directly associated with our capacity for empathy. I believe in order to truly forgive, you must have a large capacity for Empathy.
Empathy is another wisdom word itself! Empathy means having the strength to really look at the other person’s point of view, and respect it, whether we agree with it or not. Empathy means not only thinking, but feeling for, their point of view. There is a huge difference between sympathy and empathy.
Empathy is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, and doing your very best to feel their feelings, and respecting them for their point of view, although you disagree with it. This can be extremely difficult at times, but must be a part of your overall forgiveness, or there will be remaining resentment.
Resentment remains if this step isn’t taken when you feel you’ve been crossed and are owed that apology.
Perhaps you are. However, being right isn’t the point, is it? Maintaining a healthy relationship, is; Especially in long term relationships like our family, or a marriage, that are treasured and sometimes require forgiveness to move on for any kind of relationship to thrive and grow.
There will be many times in life, when we need to truly forgive ourselves. This can be very difficult. I know just recently, I hurt someone, without meaning to, with a careless comment, and wanting to be right, but wanting to “be right, just fuels into a fight”.
When this happens, I feel much remorse and regret, and I do my best to remember this in my life. After all, in the end, who does this really hurt? YOU.
We also in life, from time to time, make mistakes, that compromise ourselves. After all, we are human. We compromise our morals, or our values, or belief system, in some way. We must then forgive ourselves. In the past, when I’ve done something or said something I regret, I first ask God for forgiveness. I then Avoid, beating myself up too much, if I can, so I can maintain a good sense of self worth. After learning from a mistake, we should be gentle, and forgive ourselves. Most important, I think a strong sense of awareness is important. Think about what you are doing. I try to respond, rather than react, with myself and others.
God forgives us, so we need to forgive ourselves so we won’t continue repeating the same behavior, and recognize when we have compromised our self worth to avoid repeating the same mistake over and over again.
Today, ask yourself: is there a relationship in which your having problems, and need to exercise some empathy and forgive? Is there a situation with yourself where you’ve compromised what you believe in, and need to ask for forgiveness from yourself? In the end by exercising empathy with yourself and others and the benefits of forgiveness, our relationships can only grow stronger.