We hear, read and talk about forgiveness almost everyday. Yet, do we really know how it feels? I know we say we forgive others and we accept apologies from others and ourselves. But are we truly feeling it?
When I make a mistake as soon as I realize it or its brought to my attention, I immediately apologize (if I’m honestly in the wrong-I’m not a door mat and I don’t let others take advantage, yet I have a deep desire to be a kind, giving, loving person). But I have a tendency to carry the regret and even grief over my mistakes even after the other person has obviously let it go and moved on. So, by my not letting go also, am I keeping the mistake alive? Am I allowing it power it doesn’t deserve and maybe in fact never had until I refused to let go and forgive myself.
We know that by not forgiving others, the only person we’re hurting is ourselves. But what about when we don’t forgive ourselves? Are we not committing an even greater harm to ourselves? If the other person has forgiven us then the mistake can and should dissolve, die, evaporate into the ether. It no longer has a life to it unless we carry regret and grief over the mistake we made. Then we are again only hurting ourselves.
If the mistake is truly that, a mistake or just a moment of not thinking about our actions or words, a moment of weakness (which we all have, it’s human nature), or even despair when we act out of frustration and weariness, then apologize, do what is needed to correct the issue and make the situation right with the other person. Then move on in peace, calm, kindness and love. Allow yourself to feel the positive for them and yourself. Now, let it go.