Forgiveness, or Letting Go
“Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another’s control… to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else’s nightmare.” – Lance Morrow
The question of forgiveness has been on my mind for the last few months. It has been brought up in the prayers I have read over &/or said; it has been mentioned by friends; it has appeared in a number of more subtle ways. I’ve thought about things that I’ve let go, and especially feelings I still have to conquer in that vein.
I’ve never said the words “I forgive you,” or “I forgive myself, or “please forgive me.”
I’ve said I’m sorry, and have meant it, to others if I hurt them in some way (no matter the intention: they were hurt). But forgiveness? It was not part of my family’s lexicon. It is something I’m struggling with-the word itself-in this next step of what I’ve been going through.
I understand that how we react to things determines the power something has or doesn’t have over us. If we “feed the bad wolf” that wolf will thrive, in all its negative and draining ways. I don’t want to be that person, nor emulate things that I did not like in my parents…and the things that I have to let go that are inside of me, that I have to forgive, purge as best as I can, learn from it, and allow myself to move on.
Forgiving myself is somewhat the hardest.
There is nothing I can do about the past. I can never achieve a better relationship with my parents. Things are left in whatever state they were in when they passed away. I can work on how I react now and in the future. Do I forgive my parents for their faults, the things I felt wronged in? I’m not sure if forgiveness is the word at this moment; yes, it may be semantics, but I know I have it within me to let these things go, some more easily than others.
I’m still trying to understand the whole concept of forgiveness.
I don’t know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, ‘well, if I’d known better I’d have done better,’ that’s all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, ‘I’m sorry,’ and then you say to yourself, ‘I’m sorry.’ If we all hold on to the mistake, we can’t see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can’t see what we’re capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self. – Maya Angelou
Posted on March 12, 2013, in Anger, Caring, counseling, Despair, Family, Friends, Meditations, Mindfulness, Prayers, Spiritual, Support, Therapy, Transformation and tagged absolve, Bernard Meltzer, caring, compassion, counseling, forgive, forgiveness, Forgiving, giving thanks, hurt, Lance Morrow, Maya Angelou, patience, rededication, strength, Talking to God, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.