Not a single person avoids messing up from time to time. Part of our human condition involves making mistakes. We forget, we get tired, we get angry, or we get distracted. No one seems to be exempt. Sometimes, we need to forgive other people. At other times, we need to forgive ourselves. Usually, self-forgiveness requires much more work than forgiving others. We underrate forgiveness. We underuse forgiveness. So, what exactly does “forgiveness” mean?
The Mayo Clinic states that forgiveness involves a decision to let go of bad thoughts. Not an easy thing to do! One process to promote forgiveness begins by recalling an un-forgiven event. As you recall the incident, imagine a door shutting between you and the memory. When the door closes, notice that you stand in a new, safe space. Once you visualize the door firmly closed, tell yourself, “I am a Child of God living in a safe space in the present moment. I release everything behind that closed door.”
“Forgiveness” does not mean denying the truth about a situation. It does not make negative behavior right. Alcohol Anonymous encourages us to reject unacceptable behavior without rejecting the individual. No matter how awful the circumstances, you gain greater health when you forgive. To make this personal, can you change your thoughts toward yourself or someone else? Can you reject wrong actions and still accept the individual — especially if you are the one being forgiven?