Updated: Aug 21
The words below are from my book Sunflower Wisdom. I was prompted to share this after I received an unexpected apology from someone who hurt me deeply a year or two ago. I'm not one to hold a grudge. Really, I'm not. In fact, I can honestly say I am still on speaking terms with just about every single ex-boyfriend I've had. True, there are a few that I haven't seen in a while. But if we ran into each other, a pleasant conversation could be had with most.
"To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it." Confuciusthat
Perhaps this is because I have always been one who has loved others easily, especially those I've been romantically involved with. I tend to think it's because I have an infinitely loving spirit who sees the bigger picture, the purpose (or real person) behind the pain, and the silver lining in most situations. I am also one to forgive, forget and move on - or so I like to think.
Still, there are people I need to forgive for pain which came from our past relationships or interactions - and they are not former paramours per se. Some are business connections, others are family members, and a few are (former) friends or romantic relations. And for the most part, the only place I see them is in my head...when I think about the past.
As someone who constantly encourages people to live from a place of love; to accept and forgive others; and to walk their talk, I've recently been faced with the task of doing these things myself with some folks who have hurt me deeply. And it's been something of a challenge.
But, if nothing else I am a person of action who fully believes in both karma and the powerful energy behind letting go of what you don't want to make room for what you do. I've taken a few baby steps toward mending the remaining cracks in my heart. It's time to let go of the yucky bonds of hurt which remain and embrace these folks with LOVE.
Here are a few little things I've done to begin forgiving those I need to and which you might want to try:
Accepted their Facebook friend request or interacted with them on social media
Used an item or object that they gave me - and not for target practice
Prayed for them
Thanked them (in my head or on paper*) for the insights I've gained through our relationship
Thanked them (in my head or on paper*) for being a teacher/helping me learn
Said out loud, "<Insert name>, I forgive you for_______."*
Opted NOT to tell the story of how they hurt me one more time
Told the story of how we hurt each other from an observer's point of view
Sent them love, loving-kindness, positive energy, or thoughts of forgiveness from my heart
Pictured them smiling and happy
Thought about a good memory of us or them
Asked (in my head or on paper*) for them to forgive me
Forgiven myself for my actions, reactions, and in-actions in our relationship and past
*Some of this has been done digitally/online. At some point and if it will make things better, I hope to gain the courage to do this directly or in person, at least for the ones who are alive.
Interestingly, information about forgiveness is all around me these days in what I'm reading, seeing online, and in conversations I’ve had. Here's an example and quote from the book Unfinished Business by James van Praagh. It’s one of the best books I've read lately about letting go of worry, pain, and old baggage:
"Failures can be seen as the opportunities you had to demonstrate love, compassion, and forgiveness to yourself and others, but choose not to follow through on."
If you are reading this perhaps it’s because you too are on a path of forgiveness. Begin by forgiving and loving yourself in all the ways you can. Then make the effort to LET GO of the pain which binds you to the past and MOVE ON, with or without those who have hurt you, into a much brighter - and lighter - world.