Forgiveness is a complicated concept. Often, we hold on so tightly to the idea of being right. It seems as if it is an impossible hurdle to move to the state of forgiving another for not being who we think they should be. Even though we are not happy in this place, we would rather dig our heels in than move to a place of acceptance about it.
The concept of forgiveness surfaces so often in family settings. We judge each other harshly, not realizing our own happiness is held hostage because of this. We don’t give in and won’t let go because we hold steadfastly to the concept of being right. This happens with our parents, our siblings and our children on many occasions. Even if we don’t agree with the actions of another, our judgment of them and consequent suppression of our love serves only to diminish ourselves.
We all do the best we can with the knowledge and skill we have at the time, however others may fall short of our expectations as well as their own potential. It is a fact that there are many relationships within families that can be better. Sometimes, members are treated unfairly, even cruelly. But what we have to realize is that someone cannot give us
Operating from an unforgiving space only perpetuates what occurred and also places our power in another’s hands. We get so wrapped up in the “rights” and “wrongs,” that we remain stuck – which benefits no one. When we view the situation with detachment and understand we have a choice about how to approach it, we recognize this is where our power lies. If we let our judgment control our thoughts, weigh on our mind, and permeate our system; it will still direct our life in a negative way – even if we don’t utter a word about it.
Acknowledging our feelings about what happened, accepting them, and choosing to release them gives us the peace we seek. Forgiveness doesn’t mean the person was right or even that we have to spend time with them. It means that our energy is no longer tied up with theirs. It just gives us the peace of mind we want when we accept what is, rather than what should be.
Sometimes, all it takes is a statement that says we are willing to forgive - even if we don’t know how it could ever happen. That declaration opens the door that was once sealed shut and allows a miracle to enter in.
Jeanmarie Wilson is the author of Parenting from Your Soul: A Spiritual Approach to