Forgiveness is not about lying to ourselves, and pretending things are ok, when they are not, or were not. No, forgiveness is about allowing ourselves to express how we feel totally. Forgiveness gives us the ability to let it all out. Once we have fully expressed how we feel, in a way that suits us best, that brings no harm, we begin to look at things differently. This is because the emotional intensity has been released, giving us more space to feel rather than think. When we begin to feel, we start to question things a bit more subtly. Perhaps we begin to examine the situation from the other person's point of view. It may occur to us that the person who hurt us, in fact did not intend to hurt us at all. It may occur that in the actions of the other individual, or group of individuals, were intended not to harm but to help. They may indeed have been wrong to assume their actions would help, but this does not make them out to hurt. Once this understanding is in place, we then feel able to let go of the anger and hurt that we felt, gradually, as we understand their perspective.
With more serious things, when someone does deliberately intend to hurt you, this requires a deeper level of understanding, and it goes within yourself, not them. This person has done something deliberate to you, for their own pleasure. The person who suffers is you and the suffering is deep. This is when forgiveness of the self is what we work for. We allowed this act of abuse to occur, we were unable to defend ourselves, for what ever reason. Either through force, or sneakery, someone has taken advantage. We are not to blame and this is no reflection upon ourselves. The self flagellation that we feel after this sort of event is what causes us the most pain. It lingers. We can accept the other person was nasty, sick, someone to be avoided. Their hurt towards you was undeserved. Nothing deserves hurt. But what about us, we cannot avoid ourselves. By allowing ourselves to release the hurt and feelings of pain that come after abuse, we then again allow ourselves to view ourselves in a new way. We look at the perspective of our own life through a clearer sense of vision and again appreciate there was nothing that could have been done, we appreciate the growth within us, the steps taken, and own the knowledge that someone hurt you, and you survived.
Forgiveness is a natural thing, it comes to us like thoughts. Allow yourself to release your feelings, and someday soon you feel no pain at all.
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