“Holding onto resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” -Buddha
Forgiveness is not Weakness
I can hear the manly men already, “I don’t need to forgive shit! Let them say sorry.”
Great, you’ve moved up from depression and sadness to anger and resentment, that’s good. Most people will move up a scale of emotions. They go from feeling depressed and helpless to angry and pissed off about the situation. If it’s losing your job you felt so depressed and worried over the next step in the emotional scale is usually anger. “I was too good for them anyway, I can’t believe they had the nerve to fire me”. What’s the problem with this? Nothing really, but this process can usually take a lifetime for some people. People will do anything to avoid looking ultimately weak by forgiving someone and giving up their opinion or identity. It’s a funny concept because in the strong attempt to avoid looking weak by forgiving, they would rather become depressed and lose their health, get fat, get angry and end up in jail or an alcoholic, all before their actually forgive someone, a situation or themselves.
Steps to Forgiving
It’s not only possible but rather simple to move up the ladder of negative emotions. First, you have to recognize that forgiveness is not weakness. You are not weak or giving up for forgiving. In fact, the word forgive really means to “give it up for yourself”. This is the first step in forgiveness, otherwise people will sabotage even themselves to avoid the pain associated with being a “weak person”. When you forgive you are ultimately benefiting you. Holding resentment is literally taking up a space in your mind and body that is draining you of energy. Once it becomes depressed in you, it sets up shop in your subconscious mind and becomes a chronic drain of your energy. It’s as if you don’t even realize it’s there; however, you know something in you is constantly draining you, like a parasite. So if you need leverage to break away from your stubbornness how about recognizing that you hating someone and blaming a situation is killing YOU, not that person or situation, and is that what you want anyway? Once you can recognize the strength in forgiveness then you can move through a series of self analysis of the situation much easier.
Steps To Forgiveness:
- Acknowledge your anger or resentment
- Acknowledge the hurt or pain it created or is creating
- Acknowledge the fears and self-doubts that it has created in your life
- OWN ANY PART YOU MAY HAVE PLAYED IN LETTING IT OCCUR OR LETTING IT CONTINUE.
- Acknowledge what you were wanting that you didn’t get, then put yourself in the other person’s shows and attempt to understand where he or she was coming from at the time, what needs the person was trying to meet; do you really think their intention was to hurt you?
- Let go and forgive the person.
Remember, no parent wakes up thinking “Awesome, I found out 3 new ways to fuck up my child today, let’s get it!” And though it may seem to be differently, no person wakes up thinking of ways they can sabotage others and the world. Even the most violently seeming acts come from a place of meeting desires and needs. People are always trying to do the best they can do for what they believe to be “the right thing” using the given awareness, skills, knowledge and tools they have. Respect the variety in peoples believes however seemingly crazy, stupid or intelligent they may seem. I want you to really think about this from examples in your own life without judgement of others: Everyone is doing the best they can do because it is the best they know how to do, otherwise, they would be doing better.