This is the time of year for Jews —the Days of Awe— where it’s hoped that one remembers just how naked and vulnerable we are in life. To accept that next year we may not be here — so one should forgive and ask for forgiveness before it’s too late. But, how do we forgive those that have wronged us when they don’t get the pain they’ve caused?
Dr. Robert Enright, of the International Forgiveness Institute, Inc. once wrote about acceptance and forgiveness:
“To accept a person and to accept a situation are two different things. We can accept people who are unjust because they are mistaken, confused, and nonetheless possess inherent worth because they are persons. We should be careful in accepting unjust situations themselves, lest we grow complacent with the injustice.”
Yesterday I ticked away my long run by thinking of reasons why we should forgive the people who aren’t nice to us:
1. Forgiveness allows us to take responsibility for our own happiness.
We attract into our lives what we feel about ourselves. Ever read the Law of Attraction? By holding onto anger and resentment (even in our subconscious), we attract that into our lives. Anger is a drain. Think about this: the emotions we hold are what we use to create all of our future experiences.
2. Forgiveness stops their power over you.
When we blame someone else, we give them power over us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean we agree with the behavior. Most people are just doing the best they can at their particular level of awareness and understanding. And, I believe those that who hurt us don’t understand (yet) the karmic effect of such actions on their own life.
3. Forgiveness teaches us to love ourselves.
We create our universe. Once we are connected to our inner self, we don’t “need” anything from anyone. However, when you find that relationship where someone really does give to you – and you are connected to yourself – well, let me tell you, it’s like icing on the cake.
4. Forgiveness creates space for a new experience.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that not everyone and every situation is meant to be a part of our lives forever. Letting go creates space to let new people and experiences in. Obvious, but not easy.
5. What better response than forgiveness? 🙂
Want revenge? Create a beautiful life for yourself. Nothing’s better than being really happy. And, nothing annoys an adversary or negative force more than seeing you smile after you have genuinely forgiven them and moved on.
So, it’s time for me to forgive a few people. I’m not sure how it’ll go. And, I may have to do it all in my mind, but I’m committed to this. I also want to ask for forgiveness from those I’ve hurt or ignored this year.
So – my amazing friends, welcome to this fall season of love, forgiveness and internal review and assessment. It’s possible we are all way overdue for this “cleanse.”
Have an amazing week!