Forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself. It’s not about the person you’re forgiving. It’s 100% about you and for you. It’s arguably the most important thing you can do to move forward in your life. When you hold onto un-forgiveness you lose a part of yourself. The longer you hold onto it, the more you lose. It’s not worth it, you know it’s not worth it, but it’s also not that easy to just let go.
I spent the first 22 years of my life angry, hurt, and bitter. I hid it pretty well but for the most part I held onto everything, I was easily offended, and I assumed the worst of people. A lot of that stems from my being adopted but regardless of why, I know that many people struggle with the same things. It’s so hard to trust anyone when you’re coming from that frame of mind. And honestly, it’s really no way to live. I was given away by my own flesh and blood and then further rejected when my birth mother chose to keep me a secret over having a relationship with me and my children. Did I have the right to stay angry and bitter? Of course! But why would I want to?
The first step to forgiveness is pretty simple. You have to make a choice to forgive. Your feelings follow your will so you need to decide to do this. Say it out loud because it makes it more real. Speaking forgiveness out loud interrupts all of your thoughts screaming at you not to. Even if you have to say it through clenched teeth do it anyway. And finally whenever your feelings start to rear their ugly head and tell you that you haven’t forgiven, remind them that your feelings follow your will and since you chose to forgive, it’s a done deal.
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