Someone once told me that if you can forgive yourself, it would be the most powerful gift you give yourself because it is the key to personal empowerment.
Forgive but never forget, right?
I lived for the longest time with the attitude of ‘I forgive but I never forget’. As wisdom grows, I realise that that is a load of crap! haha. It doesn’t make sense to me, now. Why would I want to hold on to thoughts that make me miserable? How does ‘never forgetting’ benefit my life? I have done things in my life which I am not proud of. Really. I have carried the ‘burden’ of the consequences of my actions all these years, wondering how to make things ‘right’. A thought I always had that my life is one big mess. I have even been told so. My confidence was merely a facade as I allowed guilt and shame to eat me up inside. Many times I would tell myself things would be different but I end up going in the same circles.
Breaking the cycle
And then finally, I broke the cycle. It happened when I consciously decided to forgive an ex boyfriend who had hurt me with emotional control and abuse. It had been many years since our break up when I saw him. He was frequenting the place I was working at at that time. Seeing him caught me by surprise. I felt apprehensive and was not sure how to behave. I decided to ignore him. Many mixed emotions related to him came to the surface. And then I thought I was being ridiculous. Why am I allowing the past to affect me? Yes, what he did to me was horrible. But, I am no longer with him. And I have grown since our relationship. I thought that was the case and I had moved on. But if I was reacting to his presence, there must be some residual resentment, right? That means I haven’t really moved on.
Somehow, somewhere deep in my heart I knew it was time. It was time to drop this forgive but never forget bullshit and truly practice forgiveness. I forgive him for he does not know what he did and I forgive myself for I too did not know better. Perspective has taught me it was a life lesson I needed in order to be where I am today. When I saw him next, I smiled and said hello to him. He was clearly surprised. The weight was lifted off my shoulders. Something that I had not expected. I did not anticipate this sense of peace. So, this is what they mean about forgiveness being powerful.
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