By Nadine Saad
Forgiveness can feel like one of the most challenging things to do in certain situations.
But there are a number of reasons why it can be one of the most freeing and relieving steps you can possibly take to support yourself.
In my own view, forgiveness is never really about the other person. It’s about you letting go of baggage that you don’t need to keep holding on to.
Because whether the ensuing feelings look like resentment or pain, they affect you. They take up valuable space, time and energy in your life, which could otherwise be focused towards your highest good.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing or dismissing what anyone else has done, and it certainly doesn’t mean making allowances for them.
Forgiveness is an act of cultivating your own inner peace. Recognising how any baggage you’ve held onto is affecting your own life - as well as the space it's taking up in your inner world, and letting it go.
Releasing it to create space for better things. Clearing blocks where good wants to flow.
I was listening to The Game of Life and How to Play it on audio recently, and it reminded me of perhaps an even more freeing power in forgiveness.
It invokes grace. An energy that brings in peace, compassion and unconditional love. A softening that allows harmony and flow.
This is where forgiveness alchemises: it helps you to heal.
It helps you to feel less triggered by the people and situations in question. It supports you to forgive yourself for anything you may have done that you’ve been struggling to let go of.
And when you let grace in, its effects flow beyond the situation in question to other parts of your life.
What the science says
If you're still not convinced, research points to connections between forgiveness and our mental and physical wellbeing. Those of us who are more forgiving tend to experience less stress, anger, anxiety, depression, and related physical symptoms.
Releasing the distress and other feelings that come with holding onto resentment, hurt and anger helps us find more contentment and see more of the good in our lives.
Willingness to forgive
I get that with some situations, especially if they’ve resulted in trauma, it can take a lot of time to forgive a person. That’s completely understandable. If it isn’t something you’re ready to do right now, honour this and meet yourself where you are.
I’ve found that forgiving the situation can be almost just as powerful as forgiving the person, however. Try forgiving what’s happened if you don’t feel you can forgive those involved.
But whether you choose to forgive the people or the situation, know that forgiveness has a truly transformational impact. Freeing you in the release of letting go, and calling in the alchemy of grace to flow throughout your life.
Even just a willingness to forgive starts to open these doors for you.
You deserve to live free.