Many people ask me how to forgive. I tell them that forgiveness is a choice. You don’t have to know how to do anything, you just decide that you are going to do it. You let go of judgments and then it just happens on its own with no more effort on your part.
The hard part is convincing your ego to let go.
Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Carrie Fisher
Forgiveness is not condoning something horrible
Forgiveness sometimes feels like you are condoning something horribly unjust that happened to you or to someone you love. Our ego doesn’t want us to forgive. Our ego doesn’t want to let go of something that keeps us defined as a victim. It fights constantly to keep us exactly like we are. Why? Because it operates under fear and guilt and thus feels like it needs to to protect itself.
Forgiveness is not condoning, not even a little bit. Rather than being OK with what happened to you, forgiveness is choosing to be OK despite what happened to you. It is taking your life back from the trauma and tribulations of your past.
Our ego is mistaken
Not forgiving keeps us suffering. Not wanting to forgive because the other person doesn’t deserve to be let off the hook is just one excuse of the ego to hold on to pain. It is just an excuse. The ego doesn’t want to let go, it’s scared that this might mean you are not worthy of being treated respectfully. However, when we stay resentful, we stay a victim. We stay in fear and in guilt feeling totally worthless and unhappy. Suffering ensues. The ego is fighting itself, it is causing exactly what it thinks it is protecting itself from.
Not forgiving keeps you pinned to the ground with the offender’s foot on your chest. Not forgiving is like allowing him or her the win. You imprison yourself, not them.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you are not worthy. It is the opposite, actually. It means you are worth more than what happened to you. It means you are worthy of respecting yourself. It means you are worthy of happiness. Forgiveness means that you will no longer let that incident define you.
It never means that which the other did was OK by you. It barely has to do with the other person. Forgiveness is about you and for you. It just means seeing who you are. That’s all. It means seeing who you are without your view being clouded with fear and guilt.
Resentment only hurts us. Don’t sacrifice your self respect so that another person remains “guilty.”
Listen closely: Karma will take care of them. It is only our job to take care of ourselves. Whatever they seemed to “get away with” I assure you they didn’t. This incident is just a slice of the big picture (See the Divinity Even in Poop).
Let’s choose forgiveness. Let’s free our self from the pain.