Forgive and Be Free
By Therese Hensler, LCSW, CDWF
Forgiveness evokes many connotations, “forgive and forget”, “forgive, but never forget”, or “don’t forgive, hold a grudge”. How we forgive reflects our relationships and communication patterns. Do we avoid healing, hold grudges, or get even? Each of these ways can do harm to our own well-being. Although we may not be an expert on forgiveness, we hold the ability to persuade pardoning and offering absolution to others. Resentment entrenched in lack of forgiveness can harvest negativity beyond the cause itself. We, then, may become people of animosity. While amidst a mountain of distain and hurt, how are we able to reach the summit of compassionate healing? In all things, we have the capacity to love and give appreciation in return. Our being craves empathy and connection with others in order to survive. Forgiveness allows us to be free to live a fulfilled and happy life above the summit. Let us all forgive and be liberated.
Simple Ways to Embrace Forgiveness:
- Try to see where the other person is coming from.
- Allow yourself to let go of the resentment by releasing your thoughts.
- Put good intentions towards the person who needs forgiveness, maybe even yourself.
- Think positive thoughts and believe that things will work out for the best.
- Do not judge.
- Find common ground.
- Get curious about your feelings and the resentment.
- Free yourself from attached feelings towards what happened.
- Believe that forgiveness can happen.
- Live life in love and compassion.
The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu, delves deep into healing ourselves and our world through The Fourfold Path. We will all experience hurt, harm, or loss during our lives. These experiences will ultimately develop into feeling pain. From there, we may choose to harm or choose to heal. The Fourfold Path provides a method of guiding pain away from revenge and towards forgiveness.