30 Days of Self Esteem Day 3: Forgiveness

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz

Forgiveness Mandala by Wayne Stratz (Photo credit: Nutmeg Designs)

Jan Deelstra’s premise works – “Letting go means living longer and healthier and happier.  If you must get even with the purveyor of betrayal, get even with the victimizer by living your best life, letting go of any attachment to the circumstances that you are now far beyond.”

Easy for me to say.  There is scientific proof (see blog link) that forgiveness contributes to good health and longevity.  So why has it been so damn difficult sometimes?  Why have I sometimes felt as though I am admitting a frailty or defeat when I forgive some one who’s wronged me?  Does forgiveness absolve the person and justify the actions?

No. Over the years, and for the sake of my sanity, I’ve had to change my entire notion of what forgiveness is.  It’s not about letting someone off the hook- and it’s not about transforming myself into a martyr.

Forgiveness now, for me, is a very conscious action.  It happens when I take the burden of anger and hurt and resentment off of myself and redirect my energy towards the positives in my life.  Those that wronged me must decide for him or herself whether they want to learn from what happened or not.  It isn’t my responsibility.

Like many us I have fallen prey to others.  I have had to forgive – not by simply as waving a wand over someone’s head and pretending it never happened.  I’ve had to let it go – to cope.  The burden is no longer mine.

And I’ve forgiven myself.  Those who are unintentionally hurtful deserve a second chance.  Those who are intentionally hurtful to others are expressing their own desperate self-loathing.  It’s not personal.   Easy to say.

30 Days of Self Esteem Day 3: Forgiveness.

11 thoughts on “30 Days of Self Esteem Day 3: Forgiveness

  1. Thanks for including me in your blog. As I read your words it reminded me that we seem to have a human condition that wishes for perfection and smooth sailing, forgetting that even the transgressions have served us well. Without the crap, we would be only shallow vessels, I’m guessing. And from the closer looks at our fellow Earthlings, I find that we each grow in more profound ways and directions when exposed to the experiences that we kid ourselves into believing we don’t want. It is these very challenging events that our wings start sprouting from our shoulder blades…and your wings are showing.
    Much love & gratitude.

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    • I agree Jan. My 11 year old daughter likes the pop song – What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger- by Kelly Clarkson, and I wonder if she really understands what that means in the greater sense as she sings along. I had a long talk with a friend today about how suffering twenty years ago can help you realize how to solve problems today- or can give you the insight and strength to deal with present challenges. I think my wings sprout and retract continually but I thank you for the praise. Thank you for being so eloquent, and a source for reflection and inspiration. I look forward to reading more from you.

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      • And volleyed right back @ you Patty; I sincerely enjoy reading your thoughts. And I’m guessing your 11 year old daughter is aware of just how blessed she is to have you as a role model.
        Much Love.

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  2. Thanks yet again- my daughter is sitting next to me and swears she has no idea what you’re talking about! I do love her so!!!

    Day 4 is wonderful btw- I think the next month is going to be a very fruitful one!!

    Love to you as well- keep up the wondeful and important work-

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      • You’re welcome Patty 🙂 anger and forgiveness, can’t agree any less.. the person whose wrath I’ve faced in its most.. ‘scary’ form is the same person whom I’ve been angry at too on several occasions, in the most terrible manner and yet, what fascinates me most is how in a matter of microseconds my heart prepares itself for forgiveness.. it is overwhelming that not a bit of my insides hesitate to put things behind.. n just begin all over with memories in place for good times. guess it’s true when they say that one tends to get the most angry at people one loves the most! At the end of the day, those angry outbursts are just a way to express.. more than just anger.. 🙂 Can’t wait to read more by you Patty! 🙂

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      • Sara it’s like that fine line between Hate and Love- it’s the intensity that’s the same but the fact that the emotions are so opposite that fascinates me. Glad you are a forgiving person. So many out there are not. Thanks so much for the feedback and please keep reading 🙂 Happy Holidays!

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