What could the power of forgiveness do for you? 

This was a discussion we had on the Circle Time Forum this week, and it came up in some conversations with my coaching clients as well. 

We were all thinking that something outside of us had to change in order for us to feel better. Something about the world, or the one who had hurt us.  We wanted them to change. Say they were sorry.  We wanted revenge, or justice.  

A teenager.

A husband.

An ex-husband.

A sister.

A boss.

They were all causing us pain.  We were blaming them. 

We did some work on this, shifted our perceptions a bit, to see that it was our own thinking about the situation that was causing the pain.  When we looked at it differently, the pain shifted.  We could feel…better. 

But the sadness lingered.  Maybe still mixed with a little leftover anger.  A touch of resentment.  A tiny drop of bitterness. 

Consider this: holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other guy to die.

We can’t change what happened.   Waiting (hoping?) for the other person to do something to make us feel better is relinquishing not only the control we crave, but the responsibility for our own emotional well-being. 

So what could forgiveness do? 

Allow us to move on.  

for-give: to cease to feel resentment against.   That’s what we each wanted, really. Was just to stop feeling ugly about the whole thing.  Find some peace.   To cease to feel resentment. 

Forgiving someone isn’t for them.  It’s  not to release them; they’re already free.  It’s releasing you. Forgiveness is for yourself.  So you can get on with living your big, beautiful life. 

Forgiveness allows us to move out of the past. Out of the negative. Away from the stuck.  Into the present.  Back, or closer, to love.  And it is remarkably beautiful when the shift is felt internally.  It brings the peace we crave.  

The sign at Gloria Dei Church last week: “Pray for those who stole our heat pumps”.  I doubt the thieves are sorry.  But giving love and prayer to those who need it most demonstrates who you are.  Despite who they are.  And holding onto anger is useless and self-damaging. 

Members on the Forum said this:

“Forgiveness allows freedom from other people’s behavior”

” Forgiveness allows me to smile and breathe, learn and grow…brings me strength…lifts the weights, removes the clouds, and helps me to see more clearly…returns me to my core self.”

“Forgiveness plants a seed even if you don’t see the fruit right now.”

What could forgiveness do for you?