Forgiving for Our Own Sake

We are deep into fall with November here. In the spirit of this season, we look at the concept of letting go of old hurts and deep wounding, permitting them to fall away like dead leaves. Forgiveness, and in some cases, radical forgiveness is required. How do we forgive those who have hurt us? Forgive our parents or in-laws for choices they have made? Things they have said? Perceived slights? Or, more significantly, can we forgive them for not loving us unconditionally, our hearts truest desire? How do we forgive friends who have made selfish choices? Who have shared confidential information? How do we let go of a lifetime of hurts? How do we free ourselves from a cycle of victimhood?


The first step is recognizing we suffer the most by holding on to old hurts. We continually drag the past into our present lives. This cargo is heavy. Fall inspires us to let the old go, so we are free and unencumbered in the present. Forgiveness is our gift to ourselves. Sometimes words need to be expressed to fully heal an old wound. When we communicate with love and compassion, even when anger is presenting, we honor ourselves and the healing process. The second step to healing old hurts is to give them our undivided presence and attention. To simply be with them. We need to allow the hurts to express themselves fully and the best way to do this by feeling them. The key is to not engage in the story behind the hurt. When the mind gets wrapped up in to the circumstances, the wounds stay fresh and we continue to suffer. Before deciding whether or not to rehash the circumstances of the wounding, give the hurts presence and time. See what you come to understand about the wounds. Once the charge is removed, wisdom will clarify which steps need to be taken to complete the healing and forgiving process.


Your life is a gift, an opportunity. Take inventory of old hurts you are still carrying. Tend to them in the same way you would children when they are in pain. Be tender with yourself. Allow the anger, frustration, sadness and wounding to arise and be with them. Feel the pain. It might not be easy. We aren’t taught to be uncomfortable. Forgive as much of the situation as you can. It’s the most freeing and loving choice you can make.

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