Sowing Seeds is a series on Revitaled that provides inspiration and practical tips for growth and self-improvement. Our goal through this series is to provide readers with ways that they can strive towards positive, healthy lives.
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The biggest of hearts, is those who show mercy, those who hold no hatred. He who renders mercy will also be shown mercy. Therefore, he that gives forgiveness will also have forgiveness.– motivating.academy
The mind is a powerful tool. We have the ability to envision our futures, generate thoughts into existence, and even recall things that happened to us years ago. Particularly, when thinking about the past, it can be so easy to dwell upon it. Joyful experiences from our past have the potential to make us happy in our present. Similarly, dwelling on negative experiences from our past has the power to make us hurt in our present.
Letting go of the painful feelings from past experiences and working towards forgiveness can be difficult to achieve. Whether you are a naturally forgiving person or a grudge holder, everyone experiences the challenge to forgive and everyone needs to work toward forgiveness. Nevertheless, this process is crucial to maintaining positive mental health. “If you dwell on hurtful events or situations, grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility can take root.” Holding onto these negative feelings has the power to cloud your judgement, keep you from joy, and thus, keep you from moving and achieving prosperity in your life. Forgiveness is not so much about freeing the other person from their wrongdoings. This is a choice to free yourself from the pain, suffering, and hostility that the incident has caused.
This month, we want to outline three ways that you can work towards and achieve forgiveness in your life.
1. Practice empathy
Again, the mind is such a powerful tool. It is hard to pinpoint why people do certain things. Can you imagine what you would have done in the other person’s shoes? Perhaps it’s clear that you would not have done what they have done. You’re not that kind of person and you could never condone what has happened to you. Does this mean that you’re innocent, though?
Right now, everyone on this planet needs forgiveness. We are all guilty of something, and whether we know this or not, we are all placed in situations that can require us to seek forgiveness. Take this time to reflect on things you’ve done to others. Did you seek forgiveness from that person? If not, do you wish you had the chance to? How would you feel if you sought forgiveness and the other person did not want to give it to you?
Maybe it’s hard to think about forgiving the person who has hurt you; however, think about wanting to be forgiven for something that you have done.
Pro Tip: Forgiveness does not mean that you have to reconcile with the person who has hurt you, and empathy does not mean that you have to condone their behaviour. Practicing empathy to work towards forgiveness simply allows you to consider the role and importance of forgiveness, and how this process can help in moving forward in life. Remember, forgiving someone is for your benefit, not the other person’s. “Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life.”
2. Talk with someone:
In faith, particularly Christianity, forgiveness is seen as the start of a new beginning. Christians believe Jesus died for the sins and wrongdoings of humans by taking the punishment for sin upon himself. Through this act, humans now have the chance to be forgiven and redeemed for their wrongdoings.
Many faith leaders take the role of an impartial third party and listening ear to help people work toward forgiveness. Talking to a third party who is not involved in the situation, even to vent and share frustrations, can help you in understanding the situation and the source of your frustrations better.
This third party does not have to be a faith leader. It can also be a family member, friend, counsellor, or teacher. We even have this service option available at Revitaled. As long as you trust and respect the person, and they respect you and have your best interests at heart, it may be helpful to seek their support as you work towards forgiveness.
Pro Tip: Talk with yourself! Journaling your feelings can help you to process them better. Meditation or prayer are also ways that you can take a different approach to understanding the situation and ways that you can move forward from this.
3. Recognize that forgiveness is a process:
Like almost everything worth having in this life, forgiveness is a process that requires patience and strength. This is because forgiveness is a pathway that leads to peace, and peace is a valuable thing to hold in one’s lifetime.
Because forgiveness is a process, this means that you might have to forgive the same person for the same incident over and over and over again. Don’t view this as a failure on your part; view this as an opportunity for deeper healing to occur within yourself. View this as an opportunity to grow and develop into an even greater person than you were before.
Also, note that you don’t need the other person’s permission to forgive them. In fact, you don’t even have to speak to that person to forgive them at all. Forgiveness is something that you can do by yourself if you are truly willing to move forward and let go of the situation.
Pro Tip: Time truly does heal all wounds. The battle may hurt today, but joy is promised in forgiveness! Give it some time, and be patient. You will see growth, freedom, and a positive internal change in time.