Forgiving others and yourself is a necessary part to thriving in life, regardless which road (paved or uncharted) you travel. No matter if you are religious or not, forgiveness allows for goodness to permeate in your life mentally, physically and spiritually.
I will admit asking for forgiveness can be difficult and scary. Recently, I had to face my fears with two people. I sought out both old friends and apologized. For the sake of privacy, friendship one is with Jordan and friendship was with Cecil. For Jordan, her accepting my apology and forgiving me for me was important but I was committed to apologizing to her regardless if she accepted it or not. As for Cecil, I wanted to acknowledge that my behavior probably hurt his feelings and for that I was sorry. If we were ever truly friends then that relationship should have ended at least a decade prior. I had not been fully honest with them and let it linger way too long. I only shared the feelings I knew Cecil wanted to hear and not ALL of my true feelings. For me I was sorry the way that it ended.
To me the most important part of the forgiveness process is acknowledging what you (in my case, me) did wrong and how you hurt someone or even yourself. Now, you may feel justified for your actions. In the case of Cecil, I do feel that my actions were the only recourse in the situation. I saw no other way to stop what was gong on and to express myself. I can still see the shock and hurt on his face. Later I tried to explain my actions but he stopped all communication with me. A few weeks later I sent him a message apologizing for the hurt I caused and I wished him all the best in life. After sending that message I said a prayer for him and asked GOD to heal both of our hearts.
For Jordan, what I did to damage our relationship was mean and immature. Over the years I wanted to apologize to her but did not have the courage. Then another friend, M. Lattimore died, and I felt the need to reach out and put my big girl panties on. She appreciated that I was sorry and was open to picking up our friendship. Her life now is what I dreamed for us when we were young. I am proud of her and what she has accomplished. I thanked GOD that she was doing great.
In both situations, I had to forgive myself for being mean, hurtful and not being completely honest. As much as I might have hurt Jordan and Cecil, I hurt myself more. I let myself down. I allowed others needs to become more important than my own. I lied to them and myself all in hopes things would just get better. I cried, I prayed and I saged. I did all I knew to usher healing in and to allow a new way of being to take hold. Forgiving yourself requires you make changes in life and how you behave.
Forgiving is freeing…liberating. Forgiving creates spaces for love and goodness to reside. Forgiving is active and not passive. Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of independence and of liberation. Claim your freedom through forgiveness!
Share with me how forgiveness has helped you lie a better life.