“We must forgive those we feel have wronged us, not because they deserve to be forgiven but because we love ourselves so much we don't want to keep paying for the injustice...when someone can touch a wound and it no longer hurts you then you know you have truly forgiven.” ~ don Miguel Ruiz
In the book The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz talks about the importance of forgiveness. For many of us, forgiveness is difficult. I know I had a tough time in my life forgiving my father for sexually abusing me. But, over time, I have learned that forgiveness is not about the other person, it is about releasing the pain and anger I was holding on to in my life. Forgiveness is not saying that what happened was okay, it is about acknowledging that it happened, understanding that I cannot change the past, and deciding to live in the present moment where I am no longer being abused. The best lesson that I learned was that by not forgiving my father, I was suffering over and over. My suffering didn’t have a negative impact on him; it had a negative impact on me. The pain was real, but suffering was my choice. And when I realized, I had a choice, I decided to stop suffering.
When I decided to stop suffering, I faced the emotional wounds head on. I worked with a counselor, journaled, meditated and attended the Healing the Heart program at the Chopra Center for Well-Being. It was hard work and emotionally draining, but it changed my life. I explored the emotional wounds, and released the poison I was holding onto in my body to heal the pain.
I agree with don Miguel Ruiz when he tells us to forgive because we love ourselves so much that we no longer want suffer from the injustice. I know that forgiveness is the only way to heal and experience freedom. I understand that I have forgiven my dad because when I hear his name or think about him, I no longer have an emotional reaction. I am free!
Is there someone you need to forgive in your life?
What steps can you take to acknowledge what happened; understand you can’t change the past and forgive?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
My goal is to build a community with like-minded individuals who want to grow, share and learn from one another. Please post comments to enrich the experience for all.