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Forgiveness: an act of self-preservation

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

Hello Housemates!

How many times have you forgiven someone before taking the necessary steps to process why you are forgiving that person?

When you say, "I forgive you." Do you say it out of obligation or some desire to absolve and make the other person feel better?

How many times have you forgiven someone just because, well, that’s what you have been taught to do?

Someone hurts you, and maybe they say sorry or not. Either way, you let those words: I forgive you, line up and march out of your mouth like an army of well-trained soldiers.

I forgive you.

For some people it’s automatic. Their “I forgive you’s” and “That’s OK” run out of their mouths before the person says sorry, or before they can process what they are forgiving.

When you say, "I forgive you." What do you feel? Are those words calming to your soul?

If they are not, then you probably haven’t truly forgiven the person.

If you are doing the work, then you know the act of forgiving someone is like bestowing a blessing upon them and yourself.

How many layers of recognition did you have to go through to heal?

How many times did that hurt have to visit you in different ways before you could pinpoint the source of it?

Yes. Grab your journals, if you have done so already. We are going there.

I am temporarily dismounting my talking tiger, setting down my crossbow, and exchanging them for a nice big desk, a quill pen, some nice parchment paper, and a candle.

Sure. Why not? Let there be a raging storm outside with bolts of lightning to illuminate the evening sky. The act of forgiving someone can be intense.

Will the other person participate in this process with you, or will you have to accept the fact that they will never apologize?

When you forgive someone, the other person benefits from the work you have done, whether they have apologized for their deeds or not.

They benefit from your work. They benefit from the grace you gain in the process of doing the work. They benefit from the lack of negative energy that was coming from you because you no longer harbor feelings of resentment towards them.

Forgiveness should be treated as an act of self-preservation. Don’t give it away cheaply. Sometimes, those words shouldn’t be spoken at all.

Not until you are truly ready. You should only speak those words when you know the energy of the situation has left your body.

I forgive you. Let those words be calming to your soul, like a balm that soothes your skin.

If you are unclear about what damage has been done to your person or spirit, then why let those words travel so easily from your mouth?

True forgiveness can’t be given without doing the work. True forgiveness can’t be given just because you want someone to feel better, or just because you have uttered the words.

The act of forgiving someone can clear away, end, and prevent generations of suffering.

So again, I ask, why are you just letting those words fly out of your mouth?

Forgiveness is an act of self-preservation. We release pain, sadness, and anger by saying them and invite more positive and uplifting experiences to replace them.

I am advocating that you apply the concepts of being mindful, present, and aware when it comes to forgiveness. Many people say, "Forgive so that you can heal." That concept doesn't make complete sense to me.

How can you forgive when you haven't healed? How is that even a genuine heartfelt gesture?

Forgiveness, by definition, implies that you have done the work. That you have sealed up any emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual cracks created by something that has caused you harm.

Practicing forgiveness as an act of self-preservation may require more work, but I think the amount of emotional, and spiritual growth you gain in the process is worth it.

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