Updated: Mar 8, 2021
Forgiveness is the most rewarding, soul cleansing and freeing thing that one can do, yet it is also the hardest thing to do when someone has offended and/or caused us harm.
We have all sometime in our lives caused harm and/or offended someone; whether doing so intentionally, unknowingly, by a lack of love or just out of plain ignorance and/or selfishness. Even so, many suffer from the offenses done by others and struggle through life because of the emotional residue. The detriment of the offense determines the detriment of the experience. Some offenses have a lasting impact mentally, emotionally and spiritually not only on the one offended but sometimes on the offender.
When we have been offended and/or harmed, our natural "human" reaction is to become angry, bitter, saddened, withdrawn, distressed, judgmental, revengeful, hostile, embarrassed, resentful, fearful, hateful and (drum- roll please) UNFORGIVING.
We may think and feel that the emotions we experience are rightfully so and most times they are, however, such emotions when harbored can be the result of inner conflict and stress and can produce physical disease and illness; (e.g. cancer, ulcers, migraines, addiction, insomnia, anxiety, skin blotches, eating disorders, high blood pressure, bodily discomfort/aches, pains etc.) Not only is harboring emotions unhealthy for us it can also result in blockage of our spiritual growth and enlightenment.
Jesus taught "...whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him/her, that your Father (God) in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses (NKJV- Mark 11:25 ) ."
Forgiveness is a form of self healing and a way to release us from mental anguish. It is also a way to practice compassion and love towards others just as God does toward us. Forgiveness does not mean that we have to excuse and/or forget what was done to us. Nor, does it mean that we do not hold the offender accountable for the offense or imply that we continue to allow the offender to remain active in our life. Forgiveness is a virtue of God; one which must be applied and practiced in order for us to live our lives to our greatest and fullest potential.
Studies have proven that our "thoughts" control our emotions. Scripture states “As a man thinks, so is he.” So, whenever we think of someone who has caused us an offense and/or harm and we begin to experience sadness and/or anger, regardless of when the offense occurred (i.e-20 years ago, during childhood, yesterday etc.) the result will lead to an underlining depression and anger/rage for the day and days to follow. In other words, we will walk in it.... until we forgive.
To fully forgive someone we have to first be willing to HEAL from the trauma, pain and imbalance the offense has caused. Healing begins with the renewal of our mind and the opening of our heart.
The healing process consist of reflecting, acknowledging, expressing, accepting, understanding, asking/praying for compassion and love, releasing, letting go and FORGIVENESS. (This healing can be obtained through Prayer and the support of Meditation, Reiki/Energy work and/or Spiritual Counseling, Therapy).
With practice, we will know when we have truly forgiven someone when we no longer experience the emotion and/or conjure up the thought. Once we have reached forgiveness sincerely, we will be able to say from our souls out loud (naming the person) "I Forgive and Release you." We can even go as far as saying " I bless you and wish peace, love, happiness and prosperity for you." (We can apply this same practice when needing to forgive ourselves)
When we get to this point, not only will we be forgiving and releasing the offender but we will be SET FREE and given the POWER to take back what is rightfully ours… PEACE.
Remember- What we do to and for others we do to and for ourselves.
Love & Take Care Of You.