“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.“ — Robert Muller
Forgiveness can be a tough exercise until you realize it’s necessary for peace in life. It’s natural to intentionally hold on to things, vowing one day to get it all back in one way or another.
Our resentments give us a sense of feeling right. Yet over time that righteousness can lead to feeling lonely, unfulfilled, and unloved in many ways. What we want is to breathe and feel free. Freedom and peace can be found immediately through the power of forgiveness.
By forgiving the people who have hurt you, the capacity to see a larger picture opens and a higher meaning in what you have gone through begins to emerge. Forgiving someone now would be a gentle step in transforming your pain into a bigger purpose in your life.
Here are five important people to forgive before the end of your life. If these five people don’t exactly fit your life’s blueprint, use them as a guide to determine who you choose to forgive.
1. Forgive Mom and Dad — the people that brought you into the world made some mistakes along the way. Learn to allow those mistakes (even the big ones) to become a part of the journey in order to heal and grow.
Forgiving your parents opens the door to the larger context that they did the best they could with what they had at the time. Your parents brought you up to live according to their understanding of it. However, gaps were created as you developed your own standards for living.
Forgive the gaps and embrace the differences. Mom and Dad intentions for you were always good. Instead of something to avoid, allow the gaps to become loving spaces from which you can grow and expand beyond what your parents could provide emotionally for you.
2. Forgive Your Siblings (and / or Your Children) — your brothers, sisters, even kids are difficult at times. Is it worth holding anger or resentment against them? They are trying to figure life out through a similar pain and hurt that you feel. Honor that.
Forgiving them doesn’t mean you give up getting justice or what is right. It means giving up the injustice of allowing your hurt to re-injure you again and again.
When we hold on tight to unforgiveness, we pay a heavy physical, mental, and emotional price for keeping that negative energy locked up inside of us. You can still remain steadfast that an action be taken while you completely let go of the negativity associated with it on the inside.
You deserve better instead of bitter. Forgive them.
In doing so, you may discover that you can co-exist peacefully and live your life the way you want to. It all comes from within you to make it happen.
3. Forgive Your Enemy (or person who significantly wounded you) — one of the keys to becoming a whole being is to forgive your enemy. Former loves, abusers, bullies, horrible bosses etc. don’t deserve your forgiveness. However, your healing is not for them.
It’s about you leaving the past behind for good and opening to your future with clarity. Forgiveness gives you the option to allow a higher power to handle them from here on out. Once you allow the universe take charge of your enemies, you can get back to being the real, authentic you free from the weight of accumulated stress and managed expectations.
4. Forgive Your Spouse or Significant Other — our lovers challenge us every day to be better people. Learning to accept them for who they are and love them helps us forgive our yearning that they be like someone else.
In accepting the present moment as it is, we find opportunity to forgive the small annoyances of everyday life and open to much higher space of love for them than we have ever known. It changes us for the better and makes our relationships more loving. Forgiveness leads us to be more grateful for what is good about them and us too.
5. Forgive Yourself — there is no one on planet Earth who will be harder on you than you. Forgiving yourself is one of the most freeing exercises you can ever do. Giving yourself a break brings on the realization that you are deeply loved by the Divine in every moment.
We punish ourselves relentlessly in the forms of the statements, “what’s wrong with you!” and “you should know better!” The toxic guilt and shame generated from these statements keep us from moving forward.
Try this tip: Write a loving letter to yourself.
Address it to the small child within you. This exercise can provide a powerful segway to clarity and self-forgiveness. Penning this simple letter of love helps you release years of accumulated self-punishment and self-criticism that have built up over time.
The Next Step
Forgiving your parents, siblings, children, enemies, spouses or significant others, and yourself can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your lifetime. It’s a powerful, loving example that will reverberate outward for generations to come.
Forgiving your parents leads to greater understanding of their best efforts which no longer need judgment. Forgiving your siblings and children affords the opportunity to learn to drop the bitter for better while still pursuing what is right.
Forgiving your enemies lead to greater clarity about the future knowing that they will be handled by a greater source. Forgiving your spouse or significant other leads to greater acceptance of who they really are.
Most importantly, forgiving yourself opens the door to peace within while turning self-criticism into compassion and greater love for oneself.
Lead yourself and the people closest to you on to higher spiritual ground. Forgive who you need to before you pass from this life, not from a place of fear but from a place of love.
Do it for you.
Live today without regret.
There is an ocean of peace and freedom waiting for you on the other side of forgiveness.
There is no better time to start than right now.
Photo Credit: Flickr/scem.Info