Forgiveness is something most people know they should practice – but essentially ignore.
Why we do not heed the warnings around the power of forgiveness?
I have read countless articles and books all covering the topic of forgiveness.
Examples of how dis-ease and unhappiness can follow when we do not forgive are common.
However what I have found lacking in most of the material is any sense of realism.
For me, forgiveness is not a switch I can just flick on or off. Forgiveness takes work – sometimes allot of work. Sometimes it will be instant, sometimes it will take years.
Last year was a big year of transformation for me and many around me.
Discovering the words “till death do us part” actually means “till someone new comes along” is never easy for anyone to go through. Add to the mix girlfriends/boyfriends/children/families and you have a great concoction of emotion, resentment, blame and anger.
Some days, at any random moment, it would hit me like a boulder crushing my chest. So much anger. Resentment. Pain.
Each day I would contemplate or visualise in my mind a way to pass those emotions on to the other parties. Each day I had to work at stopping this train of thought. Bitterness serves no one.
Sometimes acts of forgiveness are fairly easy. Perhaps enough time has past that you can forgive and move on never to think of it again. Sometimes the act was minor and you are happy to move forward.
Sometimes forgiveness requires daily effort to mentally stop, focus and think or say the words “I forgive you” to yourself or to those involved. Sometimes it may be someone you have never even met who may not be aware of what is playing out for you but you know you need to forgive.
Sometimes forgiveness never comes.
I do believe we are victims of situations of our own making.
I created what unfolded for me last year. I did not heed my instincts nor the warning signs. Once the cracks started to show, I unconsciously pried them wide open – that was the beginning of the end. Curiosity can kill the cat.
I have had to work at not only forgiving others but forgiving myself.
Forgiving myself is something I find much much harder.
Logically I know I did what was right for me at the time. I did what my heart and soul called me to do. I do not regret my actions nor wish for a different outcome. But I have remorse for the pain caused to family and I still have anger and bitterness towards the other party.
This week I learnt that someone, who like me is in their 30s, is beginning a battle against breast and lymphoma cancer.
We spoke of diet and lifestyle however the person was a vegan and also fairly active. I was baffled. To me, they were doing everything we are ‘told’ is the right thing to do.
This is not the first time cancer has crossed into my life in a way that defies all reasoning. When I was 28 I watched a person I knew who at the age of 30, did battle with a rare form of cancer which grew from nothing to life threatening in months. He was also fit and healthy and a new father at the time.
As cancer becomes more and more prevalent in younger members of society I cannot help but ask why?
What is it we are doing so wrong?
I once read that cancer has been attributed to emotions. It has been suggested cancer can be trigger by unexpressed anger and or resentment.
We may never know what is the key to unlocking the cure, but as I watch people around me falling ill to a life threatening disease I know we are missing something bigger, more important, and more crucial then just good diet and exercise.
So I suggest we no longer disregard the power of forgiveness – forgiveness of others and of ourselves.
I suggest that forgiveness may in fact save our lives and therefore I think it is certainly worth trying for a few minutes each day.