To Forgive is to Be Free

Our inner peace and freedom are directly dependent on this one thing--forgiveness of others and ourselves. It sounds easy enough doesn’t it? But in reality, truly forgiving oneself and others is not always so easy. It is especially difficult when the wounds are deep and have been caused by traumatic treatment from someone else. Very often the wounds that are the deepest were ones that were created when we were the most vulnerable—when we were a child or when we were weak.

Regardless of where the wound came from, whether or not we were partly responsible or whether we were not, forgiveness is the door to our freedom. The emotions that are created whenever someone is victimized or mistreated, are emotions of anger, fear, bitterness, and resentment. These are normal reactions when something bad happens. But the problem with hanging on to them and not processing them and releasing them is that we remain stuck at the place of our anger and hurt.

How often do we look at our lives and wish that we were in a different place? We think that circumstances are conspiring against us—that life’s happiness and success are just for others. Maybe we just have bad luck. It is easy to live life from this perspective for a long time. In fact, some people live their entire life from this viewpoint.

How unfortunate that we so often do not see the door to our freedom, sitting right off to the side. It is the road less taken. You remember the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”? Well that is what holding on to our past hurts and pains does for us—it creates a type of insanity where we recycle the old over and over again while at the same time expecting a different outcome in our life.

If we could just shift our vision, emotional and mental, to the side a bit, we might notice a new path, a new way of looking at things. That door to a new life is the door of forgiveness. Walk through it and it will open up a new life for you.

Forgiving and letting go sound like easy enough things to do, but they require more than just a mental assent that we are going to forgive, more than just a prayer asking for forgiveness. Truly forgiving oneself and others means that we no longer blame anyone, including ourselves for the bad things in our lives. It means that we choose to accept that the path we are on is the one we were meant to be on to learn what we needed to learn.

As long as we hold on to blame, we cannot truly forgive. Acceptance will unlock the door to forgiveness. The door to forgiveness will take us forward on a new path. It is the sign that we have graduated into a larger reality, have learned the lesson we were supposed to learn, and are ready to begin something new. The fruit of forgiveness, and letting go of blame is inner peace and freedom.

Some important questions to ask oneself regarding forgiveness:

“Who am I still blaming for what happened to me in my life?”

“Where does holding onto the past keep me stuck in the present?”

“If I were able to let go of my pain, what would I want to have in its place?”

“What am I gaining by holding on to blame, shame, and anger?”

Walk forth today on the path of forgiveness and experience true inner peace and freedom.