Feelings are fickle. They change with the ever changing world we live in. We have those we enjoy and those we don’t. We can feel them and let them go. Typically, it doesn’t work to deny them. It probably isn’t helpful to wallow in them either. We can just acknowledge them and let them pass but we don’t have to allow them to control us or our thoughts. This week we’re exploring forgiveness and yesterday we talked about what forgiveness is. You may remember that I tend to lean toward earlier definitions of forgiveness which are more about action than feeling.
It was a comfort for me to realize that I can forgive someone even if I still feel angry, betrayed, confused, or anything else. I can decide to forgive and begin to heal. The feelings of anger and betrayal won’t necessarily immediately disappear. They may return from time to time but I don’t have to give them any power over me. Just because I feel sad or angry when I remember a wrong, doesn’t mean that I haven’t forgiven. The healing and the examination of the wrong come after the forgiveness.
Anger doesn’t mean that we’ve taken back our forgiveness and are now bent on revenge. It just means we feel angry. If we waited for all of our feelings surrounding a situation to be resolved, we might never forgive.
Forgiveness is the beginning. It frees us to resolve our feelings without focusing on getting even with another person. Instead of focusing on how wrong the other person was and how much they need punishment, we can focus on healing our own wounds. We can explore how the wrong injured us and what we need to heal. We can be available to ourselves to recognize any shame associated with the wrong and place it where it belongs — off of ourselves. We can be available to focus on finding our worth again. We can focus our time and energy on pursuing our interests and discovering new ones.
I was so relieved to learn that the original definition of forgiveness was about action and that meant that I had forgiven. Instead of beating myself up because I felt unable to forgive someone and believing that I had to try over and over again to forgive, I realized that forgiveness had been given. I can now take my focus off of the other person and leave us to pursue healing and growth.
We’re going to continue to explore forgiveness this week. I’d love to know your thoughts on the topic. Tomorrow, funny lady MollyAnn Wymer joins us to tell her story and how she was able to have a happy life after some seemingly unforgiveable abuse. You don’t want to miss this amazing lady’s story. Come back tomorrow and please share Rockin’ Life with a friend. Thank you so much for joining me. Have a beautiful day. We’ll talk again.