I have been thinking about one of the most important gifts that we can give ourselves and others, yet I believe we benefit much more from it than others do. I am speaking of the gift of forgiveness; when we are hurt by others– sometimes truly terribly– we are put in a position where we have a valid reason to dislike– or even may I say hate– the person or people that have been the perpetrators, yet unfortunately this hatred does not serve us.
I am reminded of two significant stories. One of them occurred while I was in a communications workshop in Bermuda. The question posed was, what is the most significant moment of your life? We were assigned partners that we had never met before to answer this question, and the lady I was paired with looked me in the eye and said, “The most significant moment of my life was when I forgave the man who raped me. I went to his house and I knocked on his door, and I told him ‘I forgive you; I will no longer allow you to take up emotional space in my life’, I made it clear that I will not forget, yet I forgave”.
The second story is a video I was sent last week from a dear friend, in which a survivor of the Holocaust spoke of hate being a disease that eats you, and how he chose to forgive– to eradicate hate from his life and choose happiness on a daily basis.
Please understand that I have never been in either of these positions, and I am not suggesting that anyone must forgive, or should forgive– this is not a judgement, it is a lesson I am learning, that I hope you can learn too.
My question is: to forgive is so much easier said than done, so how do you forgive? What tools do you use? How do you remind yourself that it is not worth it to hold onto things, that it is only causing me more pain, that I am the one suffering since I am the one holding onto the pain?
This week let’s find someone or something to forgive, or for that matter let’s choose to forgive ourselves. Let’s release the heavy baggage we carry, and choose happiness over hatred.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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