(From Lorna’s newsletter, March 2018)
Not so long ago I posted on Facebook about the importance of forgiveness and many people commented and said but Lorna, how do I forgive?
We may look for a specific exercise, we may write 100 times on a piece of paper the thing that we want to forgive but this still may not work. The most important thing for each of you to realise is that you have that power inside of you to decide to forgive.
Deciding to forgive someone releases some of the hurt inside you.
The hardest things to forgive are things like when a person in the family has been murdered, that is horrific, and forgiveness for that is very hard. But small things are easier to forgive, they are not like when a child had been murdered or someone has been blown up.
We think we can’t forgive someone because maybe at a party they got drunk and went out with our boyfriend or someone was mean to us one day and we are holding onto that grudge. Maybe a boss, neighbour, friend or relative said this thing and we put barriers up that they did something to us, but most of the time they didn’t.
Simple things can cause you to hate. A neighbour picks up a piece of paper in your yard and you start to hate them for that or they go into the garden to smoke at night and you feel no neighbour should do that.
Your guardian angel is trying to get you to change your mind. Ask yourself what made me dislike them? There has to be a reason that person hurt you, one thing they said in passing or maybe you clash with that person. Forgive them that you clash, maybe you are quite alike and you both irritate each other?
You can also be jealous of someone, they might be able to do something better than you and so you start to dislike them, but remember you can do things in your own way and that is unique and important.
Unfortunately, sometimes we find it hard to let go of the small things because we have nothing else to focus on. It gives people a sense of excitement in their life but really it stops us from moving forward. It is possible to still dislike the thing a person has done but not to dislike the person. Little things in life can make you hate and make you miserable, life is too short, and it’s not worth it.
If you have had a row with someone stop and listen to what you are hearing. When we argue our own opinions are in front and we are not really listening to that person. When we feel hurt in ourselves, even if it’s small, we can let the hurt fester and grow. Tell yourself, I have the power to let it go, I don’t have to let it fester. Realise that you have the power – you don’t have to allow it to make your life miserable as well as the other person’s.
A child will sometimes say I hate you for not letting them go out in the rain, or not letting them watch television or even because its bed time. Many adults are acting the same way too. We must make the adult choice not to hate anymore because when someone passes we find it so hard to forgive ourselves and we would have wished that we had made up. All that precious time had passed and one question many of us would ask is: Do they know I forgive them and do they forgive me? At this time we realise how foolish and how tiny our dispute really was. It was so trivial as life is so precious. Forgive and allow yourself to love you.
Forgiveness helps you feel better in yourself, makes you happier, deep down you can move on and accept what did happen.
If you do decide to forgive, as time goes on, you may notice that you are not hurting as much. You realise that it doesn’t matter anymore but if we don’t make that decision to forgive we become a different person, bitter and angry. That will tear you apart.
Now in the first part of this year, if there is anything in your life now that you are hating, make that phone call, open that door, don’t stir the fire, put it out.