“I’ve been tryin’ to get down … To the heart of the matter … But my will gets weak … And my thoughts seem to scatter … But I think it’s about forgiveness.” Don Henley
Forgive and Forget?
While that sounds simple, it isn’t always easy!
Sometimes, atrocities happen in life that are caused by the actions of another person. Those can be extremely difficult situations to forgive the offender, and yet, it has been proven that forgiveness, even in those horrendous situations, allow the victim to set themselves free.
Sometimes, situations arise where we wonder how in the world could somebody be so offended or feel they were wronged. It could be the slow moving 16 year-old taking an order at McDonald’s, the speech delivered by an opposing political view, a 100 year-old statue, or a single word. In today’s world, people get offended at the most trivial things. Why? Because they believe that everything that happens in this world is a personal assault on them. Even when what the other person did or said has absolutely nothing to do with them, they search out reasons to remain entrapped in a pseudo-victim mentality, and they find one, even if it is not the truth.
But what about the situations where we conduct our own mini-version of Law & Order in our heads? We play the judge, the jury, and the prosecutor, in a courtroom where we are on trial and the verdict always ends in … guilty as charged.
Sometimes, what prevents us from moving to the next level of success is a self-imposed, imaginary glass ceiling that keeps us stuck in a place we don’t want to be in.
In most cases, I find that our level of success is directly tied to sense of self-worth and value, basically, what we believe about ourselves.
Sometimes, our sense of self-worth is impacted by beliefs that we were imprinted with by what someone (parent, sibling, relative, ex-spouse, teacher) did or said to us a long time ago. Maybe, the message was that we were no good or not good enough, and we can’t seem to shake those old beliefs. So we stay stuck because we don’t believe we deserve to be free, happy, or loved.
And then there are those times when the person we need to forgive most is ourselves. We made a poor choice in the past, a few bad decisions along the way, or we harmed ourselves or another person, and for some reason we just can’t forgive ourselves. The course for our lives was set when we made that decision and it can never be changed.
Regardless of the situation or reason, it is the lack of forgiveness for ourselves and others that keep us stuck. The crazy thing, is that some of us are holding onto old beliefs and ideas that are not the truth.
Yet, like trained circus elephants who have been tied to a stake for years, when the ropes are removed, offering them freedom, the animals choose to stay in the same area as if they are still tethered. They believe what they were trained to believe, I can’t move beyond this point, I don’t deserve to be happy, I don’t deserve success, I am a failure, It’s not safe to take risk, I will get hurt again, and on and on and on and …
Is Forgiveness Holding You Back?
Do you need to let go of some past hurt or act caused by another person (real or imagined) that has you believing you don’t deserve more?
Do you need to forgive yourself for a past mistake, failure, or a bad decision you made, that has you tethered by an invisible rope that only you can cut?
Yes, forgiveness and letting is not easy … if that’s what you believe.
Just remember that things will be difficult … until they’re not!
And that my friends … is completely up to you!