By Stacy Henry-Carr | November 13, 2020
Sometimes when we say the words “I forgive you”, it is our desperate need to move on with our lives and be well. What does it mean to forgive? We often say we forgive but still carry around deep resentment. As we work to change the ending to our stories, we go back and review the scenes of the past. These scenes are not always joyous, and some of them can bring about feelings of discontent for others based on recollection. Trust me, I know this feeling well. These are some deep negative emotions that can interfere with our healing journey if we do not learn how to move to pass them. I have felt them all!
The meaning of forgiveness is, “The act of excusing a mistake or offense.” You may not be happy about excusing people that have wronged you, so I encourage you to start with finding the reasons you should forgive yourself. This is the kind of inner work that will help you to discover the inner beauty that you can shine to the world. It could be the one thing that is blocking your success. It might be the reason you keep dimming your light. It is time to shine!
In my journey, I didn’t realize the level of resentment I had built up and I wanted to be free of these negative emotions so that I could move from my “escape life” and live an elevated life. I had to do some self-awareness and audit work, which was when I discovered that I was living an “escape life”. An “escape life“ is a life you live when you mask the pain you are feeling, and keep moving. We can do this for a while, but I promise it catches up.
So, I started with forgiving myself for things that left me hanging out in guilt and left me feeling like I was not enough. I learned that in everything that we do we must start with ourselves. How could I forgive others for what they had done to me if I had not forgiven myself for past mistakes, and “age-appropriate” behaviors?
I realized I no longer needed to focus on the negatives of the past because one of the benefits of forgiveness is that it allows you to see the opportunities around you. It takes too much energy to hold on to resentment and anger. Once we stop spending our energy in the negative place, then our possibilities will open. You get to move forward!
I often say I cannot drive through my journey while looking in the rearview or I am going to crash into something. So, I encourage you to look at forgiveness to remove some of the roadblocks and obstacles that interfere with your journey. It is interfering with your beauty and your ability to shine. Forgiveness is EMPOWERING! Feeling empowered helps with your confidence and the ripple effect of confidence can be you living as your best self. Practicing forgiveness can also help to alleviate physical and psychological pain.
When I learned about the different levels of forgiveness, it opened my eyes and my heart. You can go through them all, or maybe, just experience a few.
Levels of forgiveness
1. Fixated on Revenge-want to hurt the other person “happiness cannot be built on some else's pain
2. Neutral Forgiveness-not seeking revenge but carry the hurt and grudge
3. Conditional Forgiveness-The offender must admit or apologize
4. Transformation Forgiveness- This is done for you and the benefit of growth
5. Unconditional Forgiveness-forgives without expectation
I read a quote that says, “When you give someone a piece of your mind you lose your mind.”
So, regardless of where you are on your journey, if you are looking to release those negative emotions, and move into your elevated self, consider working through the steps of forgiveness. Your true beauty awaits on the other end.
Written by Stacey Henry-Carr
Certified Life Coach & Hypnotherapist