What’s the best gift you can give yourself at any time of the year?
How about overcoming the pain caused by someone you loved and trusted?
What happens when you’ve been wronged by another and you want to move on? How do you let it go – get on with your life – and make sure it doesn’t happen again?
The short answer is that you forgive yourself for attracting them into your life – so you don’t have to continue to carry the burden around and so that you don’t repeat the same experience with another person.
You forgive yourself for ALLOWING it to happen – not for causing it to happen.
Right now you may be in some sort of a mental prison. There may be a lot of resentment and other similar feelings. And what you’re feeling now – the bitterness, the resentment, the anger, the hurt; WILL influence your future relationships.
Bitterness only leads to more bitterness. Hurt leads to more hurt.
Forgiveness is a way to clear out those old feelings from the past so you will be better able to believe in yourself and trust yourself. Not to mention you’ll be wiser and more perceptive.
But are you responsible for what they did?
No, absolutely not. You don’t forgive yourself to make them ‘not guilty’. You created your reality and they created theirs.
And the realities overlapped.
A cheater is basically that way before you meet them.
A betrayer is a betrayer before they come into your life.
The question is – why did I attract someone like this into my life?
Of course you didn’t KNOW they would cheat or betray you when you first met them. But then, maybe there were little hints and clues you ignored. I don’t know.
The point is, you CHOSE to allow them into your life. You allowed it to happen.
That ‘allowing’ is your responsibility; something you can forgive yourself for.
The value of forgiving yourself is –
first of all, it’s empowering to accept responsibility for YOUR contribution. Yes, I understand you were wronged. They engaged in hurtful behavior that was unjustified.
By forgiving yourself, you don’t say their behavior was acceptable. On some level, they must ‘pay’ for what they did. But that’s not your business. (I understand many try to make it their business!)
But you would be much more productive by dealing with YOUR contribution to these events. And not worrying about their contribution.
“They’ll get theirs.”
But look at the damage it does to YOU by not forgiving yourself.
Maybe you don’t believe in yourself anymore.
Maybe you don’t trust yourself to make good decisions.
Maybe your self-confidence is lacking.
Maybe you’re carrying around a ton of pain.
And I would guess many other problems as well have come up because you’ve been wronged.
Forgiving yourself can heal the damage they caused.
Also, you don’t let someone ‘off the hook’ by forgiving yourself for what they did.
YOU LET *YOU* OFF THE HOOK BY FORGIVING YOURSELF.
Sorry to shout, but I want to make that point clear. By forgiving yourself, you empower yourself. You free yourself from your own private prison of pain.
Forgiveness is a strength; it empowers you.
By not forgiving yourself, you are not honoring or respecting yourself. You’re saying you don’t matter.
Forgiveness creates freedom. Forgiveness is liberating. Forgiveness is a positive, pro-active decision. It’s a deliberate choice from a position of power and responsibility.
It’s an act of character and integrity. It takes courage. I admit it’s not easy to be kicked by someone and then forgive YOURSELF for being kicked. Because, “It’s not me – I didn’t do this! It’s THEM!! They’re the bad ones!”
But finding your own contribution to being kicked is like finding a foothold to greater power and greater strength. You will become ‘more’ if you forgive yourself for being wronged.
It takes enormous courage to let go of the blame. So often we seek our strength in blame. We anchor to it. And the thing is, we really are justified to blame!
We really WERE wronged. Nobody would deny that. It’s obvious.
But what I’m saying is to go beyond the obvious. If blame really did solve problems, what a wonderful world this would be!
But blame doesn’t solve problems. In fact, it locks those problems in place.
The trap is, you really are justified in blaming. But if you do, it keeps those painful feelings in place. You can’t grow and stretch and reach for more in life when you’re blaming.
It’s like putting your feelings in the freezer. And then you have to tote that freezer around with you every where you go.
Blame is like being seduced by a beautiful woman with a hidden agenda. You think she really does like you when all she wants is your money.
If you know her game, you can easily resist. If you turn a blind eye, you’ll get taken.
You think blame is your friend, but really all it wants is your power. You must give up your power to blame.
I know it doesn’t seem that way, because we always get a cheap hit of power when we blame. But it never lasts.
It’s like spending on credit. There’s no problem until the payment comes due!
But to me, the biggest benefit of forgiving myself for being wronged by another is that it helps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. “I’ve suffered enough. I don’t want to go through the same situation again.”
But if I don’t forgive, then most likely I WILL repeat the same mistakes again. Or else, I’ll try not to love anyone else for the rest of my life. Which is almost impossible.
More likely, since I haven’t explored the reasons WHY I created a hurtful person into my life, I’ll create another hurtful person into my life.
Then I’ll have to go through the same pain again.
Just thinking about that is depressing!
You want to live a better life, not repeat the pain of the past.
Forgiveness helps to make things better. So next time, you’ll have a better chance of finding someone who’ll treat you with respect.
Because you respected yourself enough to forgive YOURSELF for what THEY did.
You forgave yourself for YOUR contribution; because you played a part in what happened.
You are not a spectator in your life.
You’re not a helpless victim.
You created what happened.
Not by causing, but by allowing.
You allowed another to hurt you.
Now, you will turn it into something good by changing yourself.
And the way to change is by recognizing what happened, feeling the impact of what happened,and forgiving yourself for why you let it happen in your life.
And later, if you choose to forgive them as well, that’s great. But always forgive yourself first – as an acknowledgement to yourself that YOU are in charge of your life – not them.
Why didn’t they go ruin someone else’s life instead of trying to ruin yours? You may never know.
But the fact is, you let them in, they betrayed you, and now you’re left to pick up the pieces.
Okay, you will.
You’ll be a winner. You’ll take their sucker punch to your gut, and you’ll become a better person. Not a bitter, beaten loser. You’ll take the pain they tried to dump on you and use it to become strong and powerful.
You’ll find the good in their act of wrongness.
While they will in all likelihood continue to be a punishing person.
Maybe someday you’ll forgive them for their misdeeds, but for now you’re ready to grow and heal and move on.
Remember the old saying –
Living Well Is The Best Revenge!
Forgiveness can be that first step to living well.