You only need to be alive in order to find a thousand and one ways to legitimately take offence. Yet, if anything, the presence of offence has convinced me that the act of forgiveness is necessary to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Think about it: How possible is it to get by without someone getting on your nerves? There will often be a wrong word spoken or an unkind action that can spark off offence.
It Takes Courage
It takes a lot of courage to look beyond people’s faults and mistakes and offer your forgiveness freely. I have also found that it is easier to forgive when the offence comes for a distant relationship. After all, how deep can the betrayal be if you were never close in the first place?
These days, there seems to be a lot of resources on forgiveness with specific materials that touch on the art of letting go. While these materials may be great and helpful, they also tend to neglect an important aspect and recipient of forgiveness: YOU.
As humans, we make mistakes. And sometimes they lead to very costly consequences. It could be a wrong decision or a neglect that affected your output at work. It could even that you caused a lot of pain to someone you love. In these instances, the tendency is to think “oh, I messed up” or “not again, how did I let this happen?”
Now, this is a normal reaction and quite understandable given the fact that you just did something wrong. It, however, becomes worrisome when you can’t seem to move past that.
Refused to be defined by your mistakes
It becomes worse when people around push the blame on you. I mean, you already know have erred but having other people throw it directly in your face amplifies the feeling of guilt.
Life is filled with lessons, some of which teach us to forgive others. But we must also understand the importance of directing that forgiveness to ourselves. We must learn to admit our faults, recognise when we ‘mess up’ and take responsibility.
But after that is done, forgive yourself! Don’t let the dark clouds of guilt, shame and despair shroud you. You are not your mistake and you still have many more opportunities to be better. So, turn the rays of forgiveness on yourself. Bask in its warmth and glow. Chase out the shadows of guilt and dwell only in love and appreciation of you.
In the end, it’s like a ripple effect. You learn and begin to forgive yourself, and then you find it easier to forgive others.