As the title says, this is not an article about religion. Although many people connect the act of Forgiveness, to their spiritual beliefs.
I realised the power of forgiveness in my life, quite recently. There was a pattern of situations and behaviours happening for years and I just couldn’t understand why. In most cases, if not all, the pattern was astonishingly similar and I started to wonder what is hidden behind it.
I have to admit, many people hurt me again and again. They left me to wonder what I’ve done wrong or what is wrong with me. I even started to blame my self for what was happening. Some may think, if everybody had the same reaction on you, then it must be your fault, it can’t be everybody else’s’ fault. And I was just about to believe that for my self. I must be doing something wrong.
But then again I thought, I can’t be that bad and all the others are fine. I can’t be that wrong, or that annoying or not trustworthy or whatever it is. No one is perfect and most certainly the people I considered good friends, good relatives or good colleagues are not better than me in their behaviour either.
So what is the matter with the repeating patterns? This is still deeply related to forgiveness.
I know now that I used to have big expectations from others. I wanted them to feel about me the same way I felt about them. In most cases, my reaction when something was wrong, was quite aggressive and loud. And then I would feel bad and say I am sorry and whether it was really my fault or not, I would ask for forgiveness and to carry on with our relationship. Guess who was hurt the most in those cases. Me. I was obsessive why they are not good to me. Why they turn their backs? Why this and why that. Until I realised why the patterns happen in the first place.
There is nothing wrong in arguing and fighting with someone (not physically) you are related to. We all do it more or less. There is nothing wrong to be the receiver of certain behaviours again and again. And there is nothing wrong when people have their own way to treat others. What IS wrong is not to be able to understand that you are allowing it to happen by accepting it and you encourage it to happen all over again because you refuse to change. You refuse to move on with your life and seek for those who really matter and who will be more compatible with you. And why we resist change? Because we are afraid of it. And because we are getting used to the patterns and then we make them as stereotypes and themes for our lives. ‘Oooh there we go again’, ‘it’s classic for me’, ‘that’s what always happens to me’ etc.
The key to moving on with our lives is to find the courage and change everything that is not right for us. And probably we are not right to others either! But in order to really move on and never let these things upset you again, you need to consider the following word: FORGIVENESS!
I guarantee that if you do not forgive everyone and everything that hurt you in your life, you cannot completely move on. Thoughts will eventually come back to you. Anger and a feeling for revenge maybe (absolutely bad choice). Open wounds and unfinished chapters will stay. It is a horrible feeling and some of you are probably already aware of that feeling.
How do you forgive somebody?
First, focus on the problem and the person related to it. Try to see the bigger picture and pick some of the good elements of that person/relationship. Re-evaluate the damage caused to you by them because sometimes especially when we are emotionally stressed, things seem worse than they really are. It helps if you write down a few of your thoughts or what happened with that person. That is because when we see the problem written, we tend to realise that it is not as bad as it feels.
Then try to be in their shoes. See how they felt and why they did what they did. Think of the possibility that you could have done the same thing if you were in their position. Then take a few deep breaths and do the best thing you can do in your life if you feel like it. Forgive them! Forgive them first in the inside and get ready to feel the absolute redemption! The absolute relief and the peace and calmness that forgiveness will offer you.
If you want to tell them to their face it is up to you. If you need their forgiveness for some reason, maybe it is worth to seek for it. Every case and every person are different. You are responsible for your actions but your actions can make you and others feel better. Responsibility is not something to be afraid of. It is something to be proud of. To me, it doesn’t really matter if they will understand me and forgive me. It would be ideal if they did, but as long as I make peace with my self, then I can carry on living with the people I love and with mutual respect.
Now, after I went through this major transformation of mine and I realised why the patterns happened, I am happy with me and my actions. I found peace and I have the people I want the most, back. Because guess what? If you act by example, others will follow. It is highly likely that a situation that once hurt you, was nothing more than a bad moment or a misunderstanding. You’ll be surprised how people will open up to you after they see you doing the same to them. Sometimes they need you to do that so they can be helped too. After all, we all learn lessons on this planet and we are all part of this procedure.
I hope my words will help you to have a better quality of life and to build stronger relationships. My knowledge comes from my life and the research I passionately do on human behaviour and the reality we live in. Under no circumstances, I suggest following my advice unless you feel it is the right thing for you to do. You might think, some people do terrible things that you cannot forgive. I cannot guide you with that as I don’t even know if and when I would be able to forgive something like that. But it seems the right thing to do in most cases.
Enjoy life while you can
Appreciate what you already have
Work with your self and listen to them
Respect others and be kind
All good things are free
My very best wishes to all and I’ll be happy to read your comments down bellow. Panos