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 at the back of my mind was 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
One day I finally 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 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 that I had moved on. But if I was reacting to his presence, there must be some residual resentment (just to name one of the many emotions), 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 as I walked past him. He was clearly surprised. It seemed like a nervous moment for him and he did not know how to react. He gave me a smile, one of those fake ones. And immediately, I could feel a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Something that I had not expected. I did not anticipate what was to come… I felt lighter, in body and mind. A certain sense of glee and confidence came about and I felt at peace.
So, this is what they mean about forgiveness being powerful.
Want to know more about my experiences and how you can learn from them? Let’s talk… Drop me a line.