Forgiveness is a daily practice that involves honesty, courage, self-reflection, and the ability to listen closely. It is a process and starts first and foremost with you.
Forgiveness of self involves a change in how we view ourselves. Instead of feeling a lot of guilt, shame, and anger toward ourselves, we begin to replace those feelings with empathy, compassion, and love toward ourselves.
To heal, we must first forgive … and sometimes the person we must forgive is ourselves.
Forgiveness is an act of self-love and at the heart of it is compassion. As your love for yourself grows, you can let go of what happened to you.
As Carl Jung states “I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
It is not a gift you give to others, it’s something you do for yourself, while also not excusing what happened to you. Letting go, which is the gift that keeps on giving.
Abuse as a child usually carries no frame of reference of what normal is. Allowing yourself to go back to the age when this occurred and speak for that young teenager, giving that teenager the voice that had been taken away. Holding on to the traumatic past does nothing but consume one’s present emotional space.
The process of restorative justice is an approach to justice in which one of the responses to a crime is to organize a meeting between the victim and the offender, it aims at getting the offenders to take responsibility for their actions and understand and clarify accountability for the harm they did. For victims, to speak their truth and to give them an active role in the process, and to reduce feelings of anxiety and powerlessness. It’s in this process that the gift of forgiveness emerges and sets us free.
The words, I’m SORRY reinforced in me that I wasn’t the crazy one but now I could let go and set myself free.
Recovery comes with acceptance. Accepting you angry, accepting that you hurt, accepting that something traumatic has happened to you.
Forgiveness feels like peace and is the greatest gift in the healing process.