“Forgiveness is just another name for freedom” — Byron Katie
I always remember how when I was younger I got upset with two of my friends and I didn’t talk to them for two years.
Now years later, when I cannot even remember what was the issue we were caught up in, it all feels amusing. However at that time, it made perfectly sense for me to hold onto my hurtful feelings.
Years later when my understanding about life and where our experiences come from has deepened, it suddenly became easy for me to forgive.
Not only did I begin to see more of the innocence behind every act, but also holding onto my negative feelings simply stopped making sense to me anymore.
I began to see how forgiveness was not only a good idea, something that would allow us to go forward in life more effortlessly, but also really an act of self-love.
Forgiveness and boundaries
When we find it hard to forgive another person, we many times believe that by not forgiving, we are somehow protecting ourselves.
We don’t want to allow the other person to hurt us and treat us in a way that doesn’t feel good to us.
However whenever we think like that we don’t see, that holding onto our negative emotions has nothing to do with the way we allow other people to treat us. These two are separate things, that don’t have to have anything to do with one another.
We may forgive and yet, hold onto our boundaries. Or we may not forgive and let the other person to treat us the way they want.
When we understand this we may begin to see, how whether we forgive the other person or not we may still hold onto our common sense and decide what we want to tolerate from the other person.
Understanding this doesn’t only allow us to experience more freedom when it comes to forgiving, but also we may begin to see how by holding onto our past we only end up hurting ourselves.
Letting go of our hurtful memories
When we find it hard to forgive it hurts, and the one who is hurting is we ourselves.
We are living in our unpleasant memories many times over and over again, instead of meeting the present moment with open arms.
When we learn to see that by not forgiving we are not protecting ourselves in any way, but only keeping alive our own hurtful emotions, it stops making sense for us to not forgive.
We begin to see how when our view of the present moment is painted by our hurtful thinking, we suffer.
Understanding this allows us to begin to let go of our thinking about the past more effortlessly, so that we can get out of our heads and come back to the present moment again.
We can come back to the present moment where not only do we begin to feel better after letting go of the weight of our past, but also we begin to see the world more clearly again.
Seeing the world from a wider perspective
When we become more present we begin to see how forgiveness is simply allowing ourselves to let go of the past. We let go of the past, so that we can become more present for life and feel better again.
From this place of present moment we begin to see the world from a wider perspective.
We may begin to see where the other person is coming from, and how for anyone to hurt us they must be suffering.
They must be caught up in their thinking and not seeing the world clearly with the level of thinking they are experiencing, because no person who feels content within hurts another being.
We can begin to see more of the innocence behind every behavior, and from this place feelings of understanding and compassion naturally arise.
When we let go of the past and become more present, we naturally begin to feel more of these comforting feelings of forgiveness and unconditional love.
And yet, we may still hold onto our boundaries when needed.
In fact from this place, it actually becomes easier for us to listen to our common sense and act wisely, when we are not caught up in our thinking about the past.
Forgiveness as an act of self-love
When we begin to see more how by not forgiving, the only person who is hurting is we ourselves, it stops making sense for us to hold onto our hurtful feelings.
We begin to see how forgiveness and holding onto our boundaries are two separate things, and that we don’t need to hold onto our past anymore.
From this place not only does it become easier for us to forgive, but also when we become more present we begin to see the world more in perspective again.
Our understanding deepens and our hurtful feelings naturally change to more pleasant ones. When we forgive we simply allow ourselves to start to live our lives without the weight of our past again.
Today, if I still find myself finding it hard to forgive, which sometimes happens because of our humanness, I simply allow my thinking to settle down.
Because I know, that it’s in that place of present moment when I let go of my hurtful thinking, where my understanding deepens. And from this place of deeper understanding not only do I always begin to feel better, but also forgiveness naturally happens.
Whenever we allow our mind to calm down and let go of our hurtful emotions, we come back to the present moment and are automatically filled with these feelings of unconditional love and understanding.
And that if what, is an act of love towards ourselves. Allowing ourselves to let go of the past hurt, feel good again and enjoy life without the weight of our past.
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