“The only meaning of anything in the past is that it got us here, and should be honored as such.” – Marianne Williamson, A Return To Love
Hello forgiveness, my old friend…
Have you ever heard the idea that the things we need to resolve in order to grow will continue to crop up in our lives, over and over, until we resolve them? The faces may change, the details may change, but the issues are always the same. And until we dive in and do the work to resolve the issue, that dang thang’s gonna pop up again and again (and again…)
This can seem discouraging at first glance. But stop for a minute and think about how much energy we’ve invested in reliving this issue over and over in our minds, possibly for years. Possibly for our whole life! Let that sink in for a sec. And once you truly feel the weight of it, imagine the feeling of being free of it!
Imagine the feeling of being free of it!
Imagine all that passion and energy, everything we’ve invested in our hurt and anger. Imagine what we could do with it! Holy smokes the possibilities are endless!
One of my biggest recurring issues is forgiveness. I understand how damaging resentment is, but I still hold on. And when I feel the resentment building, it’s like the universe swoops in and sends me a blaring exclamation point to drive home the lesson - I become an asshole magnet.
I know I’m not the only one.
We all struggle with forgiveness. When someone does something hurtful, in addition to just trying to survive the pain, we tend to cling to our anger, thinking that by hanging onto the resentment, we’re somehow punishing the person who hurt us.
But consider how much energy we’re using to hold onto that resentment. How much energy it takes to continue to replay the past in our minds, reliving the pain over and over, fantasizing about what we could have said or done, what we would like to do or say if given the chance.
I’ll say it again - Imagine what we could do with all that passion and energy!
See, this is the exciting part! Once we see the pattern, we know the issue! And once we know the issue, we’re one step closer to being free of it.
And with that freedom comes power. Power to move unencumbered toward our dreams. One less weight around our necks.
Another bonus, working through these challenges builds spiritual and emotional muscle. Much like in running or other physical exercise, when we go to the places that hurt and work through them, we come out stronger as a result. So the next time we tackle a mile or a pull-up, it feels that much easier.
This is where heartbreaks become blessings. Yes, they’re awful at the time, but these dark times give us the opportunity to grow. And growth is ALWAYS good.
Forgiveness is huge for me. It’s a never-ending project. But each time I work through a situation, I build strength. So, just like the pull-up, the next time I face a similar situation, forgiveness comes that much easier.
So how do we forgive? It’s different for everyone.
I wrote an article last year called The Fine Art of Forgiveness. It details how I personally deal with forgiveness. Maybe some of my ideas will work for you, or maybe you have methods of your own.
Whatever process we use, I think Marianne’s words are something to come back to –
“The only meaning of anything in the past is that it got us here, and should be honored as such.”
Whatever happened in the past, good or bad, it got us to where we are today and should be honored as such.
I am grateful for every heartbreak, because each one gave me more empathy to hold my friends when they cry. They made me appreciate the people who DO love me, who would NEVER break my heart.
And so, we take the gifts of the past, good and bad, and appreciate them, bless them, and then spread our gorgeous wings and use all that freed-up passion and energy to soar.
Stronger for the challenges.
More beautiful for our ability to forgive.
And lighter for that one less weight around our neck.
Man, it feels good to be free.