I know how powerful forgiveness is, and I know the freedom it offers because I live it and experience it every day.
And yet, many of my friends and clients are very resistant to the idea of forgiveness and the promise it offers. In truth, I used to resist it, too! It took me time to truly understand forgiveness.
But once I got it, I knew without a doubt that it was the key to lifelong freedom and happiness.
The practice of forgiveness is so transformational that I’m compelled to teach it to everyone who’s willing to listen. So today I want to bust some myths around forgiveness!
A lot of us have this tendency to see forgiveness as being up there in the realm of saints. We admire people who have forgiven others for terrible crimes, but it can be really hard to imagine ourselves getting to that place, especially when it comes to big judgments (but it can be true of smaller judgments as well).
There are three big myths about forgiveness that I want to address head-on…
Forgiveness Myth #1: Forgiveness is all about the other person
It’s important to remember that forgiveness is a blessing for you.
When you’re stuck in judgment of someone, no matter how justified that judgment may feel, you’re also stuck in a low-level vibration. That vibration attracts negativity into your life and limits your capacity for peace and joy. When you let go of judgment and forgive, you release yourself of that tension and trauma. You free your energy field to create a new and miraculous life.
I cannot stress this enough. Forgiveness offers YOU freedom from the bondage of judgment and hate. By unloading this emotional burden, you feel lighter, happier, and more peaceful. You begin vibrating at a higher frequency and attract all you want into your life.
Forgiveness Myth #2: Forgiving someone means what they did is okay
Let me be very clear: Forgiveness doesn’t mean you stay silent about injustice. You may find that you’re guided to speak up for yourself or others as part of your forgiveness practice. The key is to take spiritually aligned action, showing up from a place of true power and operating with love instead of hate.
Forgiveness also doesn’t mean you have to stick around. You can forgive your partner for being abusive and absolutely get out of a toxic and violent relationship. (If you are in an abusive relationship, visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline online or call 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.)
Accepting others where they are and forgiving them doesn’t mean that you let someone walk all over you. It doesn’t have to mean that you endorse what they’re doing. It means you allow them to be where they are, and you don’t try to change them.
Sometimes when we accept someone for who they are, all we can do is accept them and move on from our relationship with them. We can say, “I accept you and I honor you, but I can’t be a part of this.”
You can see someone in the light without having them in your life. Ultimately, forgiving others frees us from the burden of judging them. Forgiving doesn’t mean you let someone off the hook for seriously hurting you, and it certainly doesn’t mean you need to have this person in your life. But you don’t have to expend energy on judging them. You can, instead, be free.
Forgiveness Myth #3: Forgiveness is hard
Many people imagine forgiveness to be this really long, arduous process that requires a lot of effort and pious commitment. And don’t get me wrong: Forgiveness is a process. It can take time. It’s a practice and something we must turn to often.
But it doesn’t have to be hard. And it doesn’t take superhuman strength.
Here’s the really amazing thing about forgiveness: It requires very little. All you need is the desire to be free and the slightest willingness to see that forgiveness can give you that freedom. Forgiveness isn’t something we have to figure out or work to accomplish. Forgiveness is a gift that can be bestowed upon anyone who truly wants it.
You may be holding on to a lot of anger, rage, hurt or resentment toward someone and not know how to forgive them. That’s okay. You don’t need to forgive immediately. You simply need to be willing to forgive and let the Universe show you the way.
Your inner being is longing to align with love, and the moment you ask spirit for help that alignment is set into motion. Just relax and know that your desire to forgive is enough!
Today I invite you to take the first step toward forgiveness. Reading this blog post means you’re ready! You’re ready to become willing to feel free, willing to release the victim story, and willing to feel happier and safe. By being willing to forgive — even if you aren’t sure how it will happen or how long it will take — you allow yourself to begin to heal.
When you arrive at this point, you’ve chosen happiness over judgment and love over fear. You’re ready to live with more grace and you accept that a life of peace and joy is the only sane choice. From there, spirit will lead the way.