Today's Kindness #176: September 27, 2022
Forgiveness is a potent tool on a journey of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. That's why on September 27th, the National Day of Forgiveness encourages us to develop realistic methods for incorporating forgiveness into our lives.
The act of forgiveness is powerful. But, granting forgiveness is more than an act - it's a process. Forgiveness teaches us about ourselves as much as it teaches us about others. Whether a person suffers from mental or emotional pain, grief, or trauma, forgiveness can set us on a path of healing. Forgiveness can also develop into a practice that teaches us to value compassion, kindness, and love.
Forgiveness means different things to different people, but there are myths associated with forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean:
- Continuing a relationship.
- Approving the other person's behavior.
- One person wins, and the other loses.
There is no requirement to continue a relationship with someone you forgive. Many relationships do not remain the same after forgiveness. Accepting that or choosing to let a relationship end also helps us heal. Though, forgiveness can repair some relationships, especially if the receiver understands that forgiveness does not condone the behavior.
Forgiveness sets us free and allows us to begin the process of healing. When we truly forgive, it is easy to forget because what once plagued us is no longer wired the same in our neural network. We can remember if needed, but after forgiveness, the memory fades into the far distance only to be retrieved if needed for 'relatability' (or a story). Even then, there is no "charge" associated with the memory anymore.
Forgiveness doesn't always happen in an instant, either, though it can. A single verbal statement doesn't complete the process. However, over time and with willingness and some practice, we can let go of our anger, bitterness, and resentment. Forgiveness is a decision.
"Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness."
~ Steve Maraboli