Are you ready to forgive the atrocities in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and many other places in the world? How about forgiving the latest perpetrator of shootings at schools, malls, churches, and concerts where innocent bystanders have been mowed down? Are you ready to forgive a cheating spouse or a friend who lied to you?
True forgiveness has nothing to do with others and everything to do with yourself. While it benefits both giver and receiver, forgiveness is a colossal gift we give ourselves. The only true benefit to receive from forgiving is if it is used across the board, without the judgment of who deserves it.
Giving forgiveness unconditionally is a guarantee that it will be returned to you. If a loving feeling or thought of forgiveness is given out to the universe, that is what will be returned to you. It doesn’t matter if it is deserved by another, returned by them, or if they are even aware of your forgiveness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should forgive someone and then be close to them and set ourselves up for possible pain again. But forgiveness is really about the letting go part, letting go of the anger, pain, self-pity, angst, fear, etc. And letting go frees us, heals us, keeps us safe, etc.
As elders, we are the role models for our families and for our community. We are the ones looked to for good behavior, open thinking, acceptance, and non-judgmental mentality. Forgiving is a cornerstone of this way of being in the world and a valuable asset that will bring you and others comfort and joy.
Is there something you need to forgive yourself for? Start there.