Forgiveness feels like such a heavy word and I think it's because we hold on to things. Unforgiveness is so common. We've been conditioned to think that Forgiving is simply saying sorry. When we are little we're told to say sorry.
Learning from Little Ones
I notice with my little one, Savvi — who by the way is so unapologetic and I love it! But she won't say sorry if you try to tell her to. She does say it when she means it and it's so genuine that you can tell she is processing and releasing.
When we try to force forgiveness, it doesn't work! It has to be genuine.
We have to learn how to forgive and to do that it starts with knowing what the practice of forgiveness is all about. During my early twenties, I was in a shitty situation. I was in a volatile relationship that I felt trapped and was unsafe.
The Pain and Trauma of My Past Leading to Forgiveness
That was my first ‘real' relationship and it played a huge role in shaping who I am today, the good and the bad. I stayed in that relationship way longer than I should have because I didn't know any better. I didn't know that things were as bad as they were and I thought it was my fault and I had to fix it.
The breakdown I had once it all crumbled apart, is what introduced me to forgiveness. It was not an overnight thing. It took years of pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, smoking, drinking, loneliness, bad decisions, self-loathing, darkness, and all the other bleak, end of the road words I can think of.
I was in a horrible place trying to numb myself from what I experienced. I was basically hurting myself because I had been hurt. Craziness!!! On top of that, I kept attracting horrible situations because I wasn't in a good space. I couldn't forgive him for what he had done to me and all the ways that affected me.
The Truth Hurts, But Is Freeing
My life started to change when I took responsibility for the role I played in the dramas of my life. When I tell you that was hard…that was one of the hardest truths to accept. It hurt. It was eye-opening. It was enlightening. It was the start of my healing.
I realized that the problem was within me. It forced me to look at how I felt about myself and why and to forgive myself for my actions or lack thereof. This was some deep inner work I had to do. It wasn't a one-time thing. Forgiveness is a process. It's spiritual and deep; it's not always pretty, but it's so worth it.