Forgiving and letting go of the past

It is empowering to know that you can regain your sense of self by waking up each day without reliving the past, even though you don’t forget it.

“When you forgive someone, the prisoner you free is yourself,” said Corrie ten Boom, who had been in a concentration camp and forgave her guards. When you wake up each day without reliving the past even though you won’t forget it, you are able to give yourself the right to be free of whatever held you back.

Does forgiving mean forgetting? No! Your brain doesn’t stop remembering, but instead of dwelling on the past, you are now fee to protect yourself and move on.

Does forgiving mean you’re a pushover? No! Forgiving puts you in a position of strength. You can still hold people accountable, but you can take away that person’s power to hurt you anymore.

Does forgiving mean you can’t get angry anymore? No! You don’t excuse unkind, inconsiderate, selfish behavior, nor minimize your own pain. You can’t change the past or predict the future. But you don’t have to suffer forever either.

Does forgiving means reconciliation? No! It just gives you emotional space to make decisions that are best for you. It helps you decide, with strength and confidence, what’s best for you. You can decide if you want to work things out, walk away or do something else.

One way to completely let go of the past is some sort of ritual. You can write whatever it is that is bothering you on a piece of paper and then shred it, put it in a balloon and release it or bury an object. There are many ways to create a ritual such as this. A ritual helps free us from the thoughts that hold us back.

William James, a leading figure in psychology and philosophy said, “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” Keep this in mind as you deal with your inner emotions.

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