In honor of Global Forgiveness Day today I invite you to answer this question,
What does forgiveness mean to you?
For myself It means releasing thoughts and feelings which no longer serve me, towards someone or something who may have hurt or wronged me. It also means allowing myself the freedom to practice self compassion while experiencing my feelings and emotional wounds in order to come to a place of understanding with myself, leading to a shedding of the layers of protection I have created to shield myself from hurt and pain.
I realized holding onto these painful feelings of sadness, anger, rejection, disappointment, or betrayal, hurts me more than the person I am trying to forgive. I have struggled with this my entire adult life and am just now in mid-life addressing the emotional and physiological effects not being able to forgive have caused me and my overall well-being.
Through the decades I have been on an amazing journey within, learning about the powerful benefits of mindfulness and meditation and incorporating these practices into my life which have brought me closer to my true self.
Self-awareness is an incredibly useful and valuable tool in practicing forgiveness. Becoming aware of how certain people and situations make us feel. I have learned to notice these feelings without judgment, a key mindfulness practice, let them pass by like a cloud, while assessing whether or not they serve me. Pausing by focusing on the breath allows me to redirect my feelings into my body and helps me to recognize the effects.
The sense of liberation I have allowed myself to experience and feel when I have been able to forgive from my heart far outweighs all of the feelings of anxiety, resentment, anger, fear, and the like. The feeling of FREEDOM in FORGIVENESS is beyond liberating, it is soul changing.
Believe me this is not an easy practice, I am still working every day on finding ways to forgive those who have hurt me however now that I have experienced how lighter I feel when I cross the bridge of forgiveness the more I am motivated to continue to do so.
As a spiritual person I found a need to dig deeper into the depths of my soul to find out who I really am and how I need to connect with my authentic self in order to free myself from the pain I have held onto from not being able to forgive certain people in my life.
I have been on a journey inward for quite some time and just recently decided to do the more difficult deeper work of facing what lies underneath my inability to forgive and let go.
When I was searching for more answers on the topic of forgiveness I thought of the enlightened poet, Rumi, and searched online for some wisdom he left us in his writings about the topic. I typed in my search 'Rumi on forgiveness' and several links came up however one of the top results caught my attention, an article entitled 'Dear Rumi. . . tell me about forgiveness'. It was a blog post written on a website, innerchange.com.au by a life coach, Hamid Homayouni.
Every word, sentence, and paragraph in this article completely resonated with me and the depths of my soul. I was so inspired I reached out to the writer to learn more about his company whose mission is to help people reach their full potential by finding and being yourself with confidence, compassion, and clarity. InnerChange is now part of my personal spiritual journey inward. If you are interested in some insight and tools to help you with a forgiveness practice I highly recommend reading this article.
I continue to be inspired by Rumi, whose quote I will leave you with
"Grace comes to forgive and then forgive again."
Wishing you the FREEDOM to practice FORGIVENESS