Many people use the word forgive, but do we really know what it means, let’s explore the true meaning of this word. On Google, the word is defined as a verb (action word) to stop feeling angry or resentful towards (someone) for an offence, flaw or mistake. The Bible states that we forgive others to ensure that our sins will be forgiven, so if you are spiritual you will see the importance of Jesus crying out from the Cross and begs God to forgive them who are sinning against him.
I never took forgiveness seriously, I thought it was just an overused word that sounded trendy. I watched Oprah and others use the word constantly, but I didn’t know the power of the word until my grandmother died and my heart was saddened, I felt sadness for a woman who I did not know well. Let me give you some background, my grandmother was abusive to my mother so she was exiled from my mother’s life for many years, so I didn’t get a chance to know her. Most of my family didn’t know her very well either. My grandmother used her life to separate her children and started a very sad legacy of division and despair that I refuse to be a part of anymore.
When I heard of her death, I felt sadness, I sat on my stool and thought of the all the cruel things I heard she did, not only to my mom but also to my great-uncle as well and I cried. I wasn’t crying because I was sad that she was gone, I cried because at that moment I felt at peace, I felt my grandmother was now resting and rescued from an unhappy life, we never know why a person becomes cruel, we only look at the cruel acts they do. Death makes most people pause and reflect so I started thinking of all the people in my life that still had life and I started to appreciate them on a level that I never thought of before.
My grandmother may not have been the best mother/grandmother or person but she created a great daughter that I was happy to call “mom”. My mom took really good care of me, so I decided to go to my grandmother’s funeral and thank her for giving me, my mom. I wrote a great speech, I stood at the podium and spoke from my heart, I didn’t even need the piece of paper and I said good-bye and thank you. At that moment, I knew the importance of true forgiveness. That was one of the proudest moments of my life and I’m glad I got to share it with others.
After the funeral I went home and I made a list of all the people who I felt anger towards and I made sure not to think of how they hurt me but I focused on how I hurt them and I started making some calls and visiting some homes because I wanted to start forgiving people while I had life. With each visit, I felt stronger and stronger and I knew at that moment there was a higher power involved and guiding me to keep going so I obeyed. What I learned about true forgiveness is how light I felt during the process, I actually can physically feel my strength from within. I could face anyone and anything I actually became Superwoman. I went through the names on my list slowly and methodically, I took my time and I let go of all the animosity in my heart one by one.
Here are some steps to truly forgive others
Forgive yourself, no one is perfect if you made some wrong decisions start forgiving yourself. This is the most important step. You will not be able to forgive anyone until you forgive yourself. Remember it takes strength to forgive, so draw on your strength from within.
Start writing, sometimes we forget things if we rely mainly on our memory or we just remember the worst things. Make a list of names of people who you have issues with and start letting go. Think of what you are holding on to and what is the anger causing? how does it help or benefit your life in any way? Is it affecting the people around you?
Admit your part. If you did something to hurt someone, own up and don’t suggest that the other person should simply get over it, let them know you recognize that they are hurt and apologize if you were the cause.
Call on the higher spirit, it is difficult to forgive someone who hurt you on your own, seek help from the higher spirit through prayer. If you do not know how to pray visit your local church and talk to a Pastor or Priest.
Make an aggressive and ambitious decision to forgive EVERYONE. Don’t pick and choose who you will forgive, start by forgiving everyone. Don’t blame others just try to understand yourself. Your main focus of forgiveness is about you, not about them so let it go.
Be prepared for people who are unforgiving, not everyone will appreciate your renewed heart and that’s OK, forgiving someone isn’t about them it’s about you. So if you do not get the response you want don’t be discouraged accept it and move forward remember The higher spirit is with you and you feel the benefits of having a forgiving heart.
Being powerful is a state of my mind. Owning your heart is the most powerful gift you can give yourself so whatever animosity you have in your heart let it go and start living your best life. Forgiveness does not happen easily it takes practice so get started. Simply start by saying “I forgive”.