The Art of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is something that we all want to implement into our lives, but sometimes it is one of the hardest things to do. Yesterday, I had a talk with my therapist and I asked her "How can I learn to let go of things." Her answer was not quite what I expected. She said "in order to learn to let go of things you have to learn the Art of Forgiveness." She then begin to explain how to forgive. What she said next is something that I would have never thought of in a million years. She said "you forgive with love." It really rattled my mind a lot, because I could not really understand nor wrap my mind around what she could possibly mean. She then progressed to explain what she meant.
She said, "you forgive others by loving yourself and loving the person who hurt you by detaching the negative emotions to that person or situation." When she first said it, I started thinking, "How the heck can you love someone who hurt you and detach the negative emotions that they made you feel." I still could not understand. As therapy progressed, she made me understand that forgiveness is not ignoring your emotions and just throwing everything to the side like it never happened. It is about UNDERSTANDING your emotions and then choosing how to proceed efficiently. I think the first step to forgiveness is self love. When people have hurt us, we begin to implement negative thoughts into our head. "Why has this happened to me?" "I am not good enough." "I am not worthy enough." etc. These negative thoughts begin that negative spiral into a horrible perspective of ourselves. We begin to morph ourselves into those negative thoughts. With that being said, I believe by loving yourself and saying affirmations, you can begin to redirect those negative feelings into positive. We have to understand that the negative situation that happened, does not reflect who we are or our WORTH. But, that is only one step into the Art of Forgiveness.
Another step of forgiveness, in my opinion, is acceptance. Sometimes the situations and pain that we go through are so traumatic that it is hard to accept. For example, it took me a very long time to accept the fact that I am a single mother. It was a hard pill to swallow, because I never imagined myself or my life going in this direction. To accept that meant to accept the pain that I encountered and for a while I did not want to do that. I held on to it, and I begin to become very sad and very angry about the situation that I encountered. I wanted to move forward desperately, but I could not even understand the steps needed to even begin that process. Who would have known that acceptance would release so much of that negative weight off my shoulders. As time progressed, I begin to implement so many negative thoughts about why being a single mother was "the worst thing that ever happened to me." As I began therapy, I started learning about the importance of acceptance. I then begin to realize that being a single mom is not the worst thing in the world and it is actually a joyful experience. I begin to accept the pain that I was caused and that helped me to understand that it does not reflect who I am as a person. My acceptance taught me that my pain does not define me. We define who we are. It also taught me that sometimes others implement pain, because they have not accepted the pain that they went through. When you understand that, you realize that it is a cycle. I decided to create a new cycle, and you should too.
The last step that I am going to touch on today is understanding that when you create negative thoughts towards the person who hurt you, you are robbing yourself of your peace. The time and the energy that we use to create and implement those negative thoughts is significant. Also, by thinking negative thoughts about others, we are subconsciously implementing negative energy into ourselves. My therapist taught me that we should learn to detach the negative emotions that we may feel towards the people who hurt us. One way to do this is by implementing boundaries with this person, if you still have to interact with them, and implement boundaries within yourself about how you are going to approach this person. When we detach the negative feelings, we begin to see them as who they are.... human beings. Now this is not the case for all situations, but in some situations, when a person hurts us, it does not define who they are. Good people do bad things sometimes. We control what type of energy we give them, and what type of access they have to us. Which means that we have the ability to control our peace. You can love them from a distance, because sometimes we love people deeply who hurt us, but you can also have peace knowing that it is okay to let go. You can have peace knowing that you have boundaries implemented. You can have peace by knowing that you control their access. You can have peace knowing that their actions does not define your character. And you can have peace knowing that your pain does not control you.
I am pretty sure that there are a bunch of more steps to the Art of Forgiveness. These are just the steps that I am beginning to understand so far. We have to remember to forgive with love, i am still understanding this step myself. My therapist said that "We may not understand what forgiving with love means at first, but in due time we will understand." We gotta learn to accept the pain that has been inflicted onto us and learn how to push through it afterwards. And, we have to learn to change the negative thoughts that we have within ourselves, to positive ones, so that we can continue to strive towards our goals and greatness. Below I am going to post a few PDFs that my therapist sent me about forgiveness and learning to let go. Forgiveness is an individual journey that we can all learn to accomplish together. Once I learn more steps and implement them into my life, I will update with The Art of Forgiveness Part 2. Always remember, we create our peace and shape our reality by implementing boundaries and loving ourselves deeply.