"To forgive is to set a prisoner free
and discover that the prisoner was you."
-- Lewis B Smedes
[Classic post from 7-10-14]
I was talking briefly with someone today about forgiveness. Through much trial and error, I have learned to forgive and think that I have learned what forgiveness really is. So, here is what I learned that it is: our own thinking and judgment about past events that can never be changed, although we often want them to change, yet we also know that we can never change the past in the present, so the contrast of that creates the emotion of resentment, whereby we hold the other in judgment for their perceived wrongdoings to us.
Most people think that to forgive means to reconcile our feelings about that person and accumulated events associated with them. It can't be done. Usually, those who say they've done this are blowing smoke and acting as if they have forgiven the other when that isn't possible either.
First of all, it isn't about them. It is always about us. It is we who are thinking the thoughts that are causing us to not feel good. It is not them creating the thoughts. It is ourselves alone. No one can make us feel anything. Our own feelings are always a contrast between our real selves and our own ego.
The best description of what it is like to forgive I've ever come up with is to pretend that we are having a tug-o-war with ourselves, equally matched, and impossible to win. This leaves only one solution: to let go of the rope completely, and after letting go of the rope, to find the love that is always there. The way to find the love is to create a list of appreciation. Through appreciation, you can become grateful for the whole event, and then it is forever changed.
No one can do anything to us. Whenever we believe that our feelings are created from the outside, we will experience unhappiness. Our feelings are created from our own thoughts and never from the outside. Since no one can make us feel anything except ourselves, the other thing to grab hold of is that we are always in charge of how we feel and not anyone else regardless of the relationship.
When we let go of the rope and find things to appreciate, we have nothing but love and when there is love for the other, there is nothing to forgive. When we withhold love from the other, we build a wall between us.
Whatever you might be holding onto, feeling resentment about, feeling unhappy about, or even angry about is only ourselves in a tug-o-war with ourselves. By letting go of that rope, all of that goes away immediately.
Today, Right Here, And Right Now Is The Best Time To Let Go And Turn It To Love Through Appreciation.
Spread Some Joy Today--Make a list today of everything you appreciate. Feel your love grow as you make your list.