I have recently been listening to a podcast called “Ordinary People, Ordinary Things” by Melissa Radke. It talks about appreciating the small things and that “every day we have tiny miracles happen all around us and we call them ordinary things.” I definitely recommend it! You can find it on Spotify or iTunes. The episode I listened to today was about forgiveness.
Forgiving someone who has wronged you can be a really hard thing to do. I struggle with it all the time, as I’m sure all of us do. When someone has wronged me, my first instinct is to get back at them in some way; but that isn’t the best option. If we all did that, then it would be a never-ending cycle of hurting each other. Forgiving someone is something we should choose to do over and over and over; totally and completely. If you don’t forgive someone completely, then you will still be holding on to and I promise you, it will eat at you and will probably cause you to still have negative feelings to that that person.
I saw a video on Facebook by Jay Shetty that I think represents this well. I’ll put the link here.. It starts off with a professor holding a bottle of water and asking her students how much they think it weighs. They give various answers; but then she holds it out in front of her and asks what would happen if she held it like that for a few seconds. They all answered that nothing would happen. Then she asked about hours, and they said that her arm would start to hurt. The professor then said “This bottle represents our challenges, our problems, our worries, our stress and anxiety. It shows that the longer we hold onto them, the more damage and harm they could cause us.” Melissa, in her podcast says that “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” The longer you put off forgiving someone, the more it will harm YOU. The person that betrayed you, will go on and live their life, and you will be stuck with all the negative feelings. LET. IT. GO.
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on” -Eckhart Tolle
Forgiveness is for yourself, not anyone else. You cannot change what already happened. But you can change how you respond. Do not hold on to the anger or hurt, it does not serve you. Hold on to things that lift you up, make you happy, and bring abundance to your life.
Now, forgiving others is hard, but forgiving yourself is harder. I’ll be the first to say that forgiving myself is not something I do often. I beat myself up over a lot of things- how I acted when I was up, my weight, school work, almost anything and everything. Jay Shetty, in his video says “Sometimes the weight you want to lose isn’t on our body. The most expensive real estate in the world isn’t Dubai, it’s not Singapore. It’s not New York or San Francisco, it’s your mind. Don’t let anything or anyone stay there for free. You have to understand that people come and go. Stop holding on to those that let go of you a long time ago.” Forgiving myself is hard. How do I apologize to something (myself), I spent half my life trying to break? As I’ve gotten older, especially in the last 6 months, I’ve really been focusing on myself and trying to forgive myself more for mistakes that I have made and will make. I don’t want to hold on the toxic feelings. It isn’t healthy. Which brings me to my next point.
Forgiveness and Mental Health
I know from first-hand experience, at least for me, that with mental illness forgiveness is one of THE hardest things. With depression, when someone wrongs you, you immediately think “What is wrong with me? Why don’t they like me? What did I do wrong?” We never even consider that it didn’t have anything to do with us. If someone wrongs you, that is on them. They made the mistake. Everyone makes them, forgive them. Now, I’m not saying that if someone does something to you that really hurts you, you have to continue being friends or whatever. You can choose to forgive someone but not keep in contact with someone. The forgiveness will bring you peace and you can move on with your life without them, if you so choose. On the flip side of this, if you wrong someone, including yourself, FORGIVE YOURSELF, and ask for forgiveness. That is basically all you can do. Or it will eat you alive.
“If we don’t heal the pain of our past, we will bleed all over our future. “ –Jay Shetty
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