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Forgiveness means letting go of anger and resentment... because who do these feelings hurt, really, other than ourselves? With forgiveness, compassion then naturally fills the place of judgment. And we benefit most from this; forgiveness is not so much something we do for other people, it's something we do for ourselves, to move on. Don't bother to remind yourself of what should have been, could have been or would have been. Release and let it go.
We all make mistakes, that's normal, and we know we were only doing our best. But to forgive another's mistake requires understanding, acceptance and compassion - spiritual qualities that enable us to connect with the other person's soul. Forgiveness is an example of unconditional love, acceptance and allowing, attributes of a truly mature and strong person.
Without forgiveness, life is governed by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation. When you forgive, you simply choose to free yourself from feelings of bitterness, which only you suffer from. You retain the memory of what happened, which may well turn out to be a valuable life lesson, when seen from this new perspective, which is more likely to be compassionate and understanding. As Anthony Robbins said, "Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself."
You will begin to heal when you let go of past hurts, forgive those who have wronged you, and not least, learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes. None of us are perfect, so show yourself tolerance... you are still learning. Show yourself patience... you are on a journey. Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn't know before you found out! As Jennifer Thompson said, "To forgive yourself, you have to find a way forward. You can say, 'I'm going to work to improve myself so I never hurt another person that way.' And then you need to atone, to make the lesson you learned mean something. Do this, and you will be able to look in the mirror again."
When we maintain and nurture these ideals within ourselves, we can be better human beings and co-create a kinder, more loving world. Doing so individually and collectively will counterbalance and ultimately surpass the darkness that exists in the world. As Marianne Williamson says, "The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world."
I define betrayal as any experience which continues to produce guilt, resentment, anger, fear or helplessness. The confusion often comes when you want to let it go, because it happened so long ago; or you want to believe that "they did the best they could," so shouldn't feel trapped and demeaned. How you respond to a betrayal experience will make a huge difference in how you choose to see your life, and will be mirrored in all your relationships, including your feelings about yourself. Continues...
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