Forgiveness Begins with A Willing Heart
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live
Forgiveness is a process that will begin when you're willing to let go of the burdens you've been carrying, whether it's about your self or someone else. Forgiveness is not something that you make up your mind to do, and then, voila, it just happens. No! Not at all. That's a misconception that continues to get preached constantly. "You must forgive because it's the best thing to do, or else..." If you force anything upon yourself, what happens? You resist it. You may do what you need to do or are supposed to do, for a short time, but you won't do it with a willing heart and it won't last. Yes, you can tell yourself how you'll feel, at peace and in harmony with your self because you've released the suffering, but without a willing heart forgiveness will be short-lived and it won't be real.
One of the steps to open up your heart to forgiveness, is to ask yourself some questions such as, 'what has the situation or person given me?' 'How have I grown with that situation/event/person?' Look at the situation from another perspective without attaching forgiveness to it. Let the word 'forgiveness', and the meaning behind the word 'forgiveness' go. When you begin to see the growth, knowledge, wisdom, transformation, and the gift(s) that were given to you for it, you will then be more willing to forgive and let go of your suffering. This is not a guarantee even after you've done this process, though. Forgiveness takes time and with a lot of self-love.
In my own process, forgiveness didn't happen this quickly. The questioning came a long time after another step that I had to deal with. A big step that took much time and anguish. I had to learn to love me first. I began with Louise L. Hays recommendation of mirror affirmations seven years ago. I think this can be a dangerous process, though, depending on how much you hate your self. When I made eye contact with myself in the mirror and told myself that I loved me, there was a viciousness and rage that came out of me. I hit the mirror closed fist. It was like the devil, full of death and fire within me, coming out. I realized shortly after that I could have smashed the mirror and caused major damage to myself and the bathroom. I cared and I didn't care. I don't suggest mirror affirmations if you feel anything like I did. Starting with affirmations and then working your way up to mirror affirmations would be best. This self-hate took a long time to heal. What I did have in my heart, though, was a willingness to let go and begin leading a new life, how ever long and hard it took. And, I can guarantee you, it was all up hill! What kept me going were my children and knowing that I can have a better life.
In the end, forgiveness is not about the other person. It's about letting go of the darkness that grows deep within you so you can have a better more peaceful life.
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh