What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is being able to look at your tormentor and say I love you, Thank you for the events that took place because it was exactly the experience I needed to make me who I am, to make me grow, to help me learn.
Holding on to resentment and heart break will destroy you from the inside. I realized the other day that I was holding unforgiveness in my heart. Now, I consider myself to be pretty self-aware, constantly monitoring myself, reminding myself to love, to share, to remain poisitive...to fogive. So when I heard this voice in my head the other day declaring this unspoken, unacknowledged un-forgiveness for someone who had hurt me in the past, I was truly surprised. And I knew I had some work to do.
.......So I went for a walk on the beach.
Every step I took, I spoke the word forgiveness in my mind. What is it really? How could I walk around for years and not know how I truly felt? Obviously I had buried my feelings, hid them even from myself. Forgiveness.The waves lapping at my feet. Forgiveness.The breeze on my face. Forgiveness. The crush of shell under foot. Forgiveness.
I didn't try to force my thoughts. I just kept repeating forgiveness, knowing that the Creator would hear my desire to understand.
On my way back up the beach, I came across one of the many “wish trees”, driftwood “trees” covered in broken shells, placed there (so I've been told) by people making a wish. I think of them as prayer trees, for what are wishes but prayers?
I found a perfect shell to represent my prayer for forgiveness. As I placed it on the tree and said once again “Forgiveness”, I noticed that many of the shells that had been placed on the tree had fallen to the ground. I took a moment and retrieved each shell, placing it back on the tree, thinking of the person who put it there and what they were wishing for and prayed on behalf of each that their desire would be heard and achieved.
I still had no answer to my question but as I walked up the beach back to my car, I felt a calmness and a knowing that I had been heard and the answers would come. I cleared my head and focused on the sand beneath my feet and found 3 shark's teeth. Happy dance!!
The next morning at work. I log into my email and there is an article waiting in my inbox from a website called selfgrowth.com by Collin C. Tippin titled “An Article on Forgiveness”. You can imagine the chill that went down my spine when I saw that.
Collin speaks of radical forgiveness, “a shift in perception that allows you to understand that in truth, that looked at from the perspective of the “spiritual big picture”, nothing wrong ever happened.”
So in other words, every lie, every broken promise, every heartache, every hurt that is every inflicted upon us is just as necessary for our growth in life and our happiness as is every spoken truth, every promise kept and every I love you.
So we should love those who have hurt us, thank them for the opportunity to grow, for the opportunity to love more fully. For a broken heart is made whole again through loving and as I am learning, forgiving.