If I was to tell you that you will never experience peace of mind until you were able to forgive, what would you say to that. I would not be telling you the truth if I said that I found forgiveness to be an easy thing to practice all the time. What I can tell you though, is that next to an attitude of gratitude, forgiveness is the most important step you can take toward peace of mind and emotional intelligence.
Throughout your life, you certainly would have had opportunities that have made you simmer with justified anger, feelings of resentment, playing the victim and even times of betrayal. These are all strong emotions that can consume us totally if we let them.
There have been times in my life when somebody has hurt me and in my constant replaying of the drama, I have been the victim, and they have been the villain. If you think of yourself as a nice person, you simply long for others to back down and see things your way. If you don’t think of yourself as a nice person, you may just want to kill them! But please don’t.
It has taken me quite some time, and I still have some forgiving to do, especially forgiving myself – yes, you got it – forgiving oneself is the most difficult to do, but I can tell you that releasing anger and hurt and those feelings of being a victim have certainly made my life a lot less complicated. The only person who suffers is you if you will not let those feelings go. Nobody else feels your pain, and the more you hold onto the emotions that make you feel that pain, the more damage you do to yourself.
Of course you will find it hard, sometimes even impossible to do this at first. How long you let it go on of course is up to you. Being such strong emotions, you may want to hold onto them. That’s not unusual. Some people even fall into the trap of playing victim all their lives! Do you really want to live like that. Do you really want to wallow in self pity because someone did something wrong to you. Someone took advantage of you. Someone stole a precious item of yours. Someone bullied you at school or at work. Someone got that promotion at work that was meant to be your promotion. Your parents loved your baby sister more than you. These are all valid reasons, and still, you CAN let them go.
If you decide to free yourself of these feelings, simply saying words of forgiveness will have no immediate emotional impact, but if you initiate the practice of forgiveness, it has the power to wipe away that pain.
I learned a simple process from a friend of mine just recently, that has helped me to overcome many of the feelings which I have been telling you about. Think of it as an inner ritual of forgiveness.
Sit quietly alone and imagine a stage. Keep your eyes closed while you are in this process. Then, imagine putting the person you need to forgive on that stage. Say the words, I forgive X for all the wrong X has done against me, real or imaginary, in this life or any other. Imagine the person disappearing into the light. Then place yourself on that stage and say, I forgive myself for all sins against X , whether real or imaginary, in this life or any other. Repeat this process with each individual who in your eyes, has wronged you. I find doing this process is having a great effect on my emotional intelligence.
Some of you may even like to use the Lord’s Prayer. It doesn’t matter what our spiritual tradition is, forgiveness is expected of all of us. It is all part of our personal development. Developing your emotional intelligence can only be a benefit to your happiness and living a fulfilling life.
We can practice forgiveness on a daily basis because we’re often wronged, even in small ways. For instance, we may get cut off in traffic, or someone says something hurtful over the phone, or someone may be rude to us in a shopping mall. It could be any number of things that set us off. Instead of being enraged by these occurrences, imagine the person being surrounded with light, and mentally say, I forgive you and I will release you. Even imagine blowing them a kiss perhaps – lightening the moment with some humour is a very good idea. Then move on.
Without forgiveness, I can tell you from experience what happens. It is not the un-forgiven who suffers, rather, it is the person who cannot forgive who will carry the hurt. That person is the one whose mind and body are in danger of being permanently damaged by pain and bitterness, and resentment. You guessed it. It is YOU who will suffer.
Life is way too short to suffer due to not letting go of the past in this way. The practice of forgiveness – even when the wrongdoer continues to do wrong – is the only way to freedom and peace.
Dedicated to Success.