If we want a lighter heart and more love, we have to set our prisoners free. By clearing our conscience, we make room for more. It’s very difficult to let go of past pain, but by accepting its existence and being committed to releasing the past, we can gain some freedom from the pain that binds us.
We often struggle with the concept of forgiveness. What does it really mean? How do we practice it? Many view forgiveness as a way of condoning wrong. For e.g. we think forgiving an affair can mean we support it. In fact, we can only forgive what we know to be wrong. Forgiveness does not mean having to continue being in a relationship with a person who has wronged us or love them, but rather, to let go and stop dwelling on revenge thoughts or harbouring hate. We do not need to reconcile with those who have hurt us, in order to forgive.
Another misconception is that it depends on whether the person who did us wrong apologizes, wants us back, or changes his or her ways. If another person’s poor behaviour were the primary determinant of us healing, then the unkind and selfish people in our life would retain power over us indefinitely. Forgiveness is the experience of finding peace inside and can neither be compelled nor stopped by another.
Forgiveness is a way to heal our heart, lighten our mind and be free. The hurt has been done; we need not continue hurting ourselves by holding onto it. Instead, we can take constructive steps to set stronger boundaries, make changes, let go of negative relationships etc.
The other person might be free of their actions, maybe they have justified it in their minds, but if we hold onto it, we continue to carry forth negative energy into our lives, which often consolidates into bitterness.
Some tips to understand this concept better and work around it: