Here, I thought I knew everything about forgiveness. I thought that I had surpassed this lesson, but after watching “Oprah Lifeclass: The Power of Forgiveness” last night I realized that I have so much to learn. I definitely understand how to do it and it’s purpose. I was so consumed by forgiving in the past that I didn’t even think about who I am not forgiving right now. The person that I haven’t forgiven yet is myself.
Holding on to resentment is like holding your breath, you will soon suffocate- Deepak Chopra
I took the steps to forgive several people in my life. After my father died, I felt this deep sense of guilt that I held my love back from him. Subconsciously, when I was younger I thought I was punishing him and protecting myself from getting hurt. I realize now that holding back my love is an unnatural state for me so the person that suffered was me. Deepak Chopra said that holding anger and resentment in the body creates illness, which I can completely identify with. I spent years being angry and resentful and I have watched my health slowly decline. Illness and pain is the body’s way of getting your attention to let go. Now, I have figured out that the only person I didn’t forgive or let off the hook is myself. I realize now that I did the best I could and I am willing to forgive myself. I’m not able to repair the relationship with my father, but I can only hope he knows that I loved him. I’m sure that he wouldn’t want to see me give up my life to pain.
Forgiveness means that I’m not going to let what you did to me continue to affect me now and in the future.- Bishop T.D. Jakes
I have also become aware of the resentment that I am still holding on to as my life progresses. Resentment is usually a sign of when you do something for someone with an expectation of return or when you deny yourself. It’s a sign of not respecting yourself. I have made the mistake of giving up too much money, time and energy chasing the love of people that don’t return it to the capacity that I desire. Bishop T.D. Jakes made a comment that changed my view completely. He said: “You are expecting someone to love on a gallon level when they are a pint person. They don’t even understand what you are talking about. They are giving you all they have in their pint, but it’s not enough to fill up your gallon.” I have victimized myself by expecting my love to be matched. I give and give and expect that it will be returned. Now, I understand that the only person I can blame is myself. I need to go out and find people that give the same way I give instead of wanting people to rise up and meet my expectations when they don’t have the ability. I can only accept what they have to give and if that isn’t enough than I have to let them off the hook and find someone who can. Then I have to forgive myself for being resentful over it.
I have much more work to do on forgiveness. It’s an on-going process. But, I am realizing that the basis is that I have to give myself the love that I am willing to give to everyone else. If I can forgive them, I must forgive myself. It’s the only way to be truly free. Do you need to forgive someone? Are you holding anger and resentment in your body? Are you loving someone that can’t meet your expectation? What changes can you make today?