“When a thought hurts, that is the signal that it isn’t true.” ~Byron Katie
Relationships have not always been my strong suite. Relationships with men, that is. Every other area of my life is amazing; my girls refer to me as “their best friend,” I have a career I absolutely love that takes me all over the world, I get the privilege in this lifetime to be a part of changing people’s lives for the good, I have plenty of money to meet my needs … I could go on and on. Did all of this come easy to me? No. It took hard work and the willingness to take many risks, not knowing how each risk would turn out.
As I have learned over the years, the Universe has a funny way of putting right in your face the exact situations you need. Whatever you need is always exactly what you get. It’s true. So, what did I get in regards to “relationships?” The offer to be one of the authors in a book that will be out January of 2013 titled, “Breaking Free: Overcoming Self-Sabotage,” published by an internationally renowned women’s network. What did they ask me to write about? You guessed it … relationships!
We teach what we most need to learn, so I took on the challenge. For this entire week, I decided that I would focus on writing about different aspects of relationships. We all have them. We all have been hurt by them. We all cherish them. We all want them, whether we want to admit it or not. The main advantage to being human is our capacity to love and be loved. Will you allow love, is the question? Why wouldn’t you allow it? Not allowing yourself to forgive.
Forgiveness is a tricky thing. It is something we know we must do to finally let go so we can move on; yet, we hold on to hurt and blame because it somehow gives us a satisfaction we cannot explain. We scream to our selves inside, “I don’t wanna!” like a child because for some reason we like to sit in the pain of reliving a painful circumstance and holding onto anger over and over again. The joys of being human!
Remember that how we treat others is merely a reflection of how we treat ourselves. If you have a hard time letting go of mistakes you have made, more than likely you have a hard time letting go of mistakes others have made as well. The only way to really find peace is to let the past be the past. Keep it where it belongs.
In regards to forgiving others, Louise Hay, I think, states it the best:
“We are the ones who suffer when we hold on to past grievances. We give the situations and the people in our past power over us, and the same situations and people keep us mentally enslaved. They continue to control us when we stay stuck in “unforgiveness.” This is why forgiveness work is so important. Forgiveness – letting go of the ones who hurt us – is letting go of our identity as the one who was hurt. It allows us to be set free from the needless cycle of pain, anger, and recrimination that keep us imprisoned in our own suffering. What we forgive is not the act, but the actors – we are forgiving their suffering, confusion, unskillfullness, desperation and their humanity. As we get the feelings out and let them go, we can then move on. Remember that all of the events that take place in our lives and all of the individuals we encounter teach us valuable lessons.”
Forgiveness is a soul choice and centers in your heart. It is not a logical, mental process. It has nothing to do with whether or not you choose to have that person stay in your life or not. You can forgive someone and choose to not have them in your life anymore or choose to have them stay … it is up to you. Every choice you make must be for your own peace. Never sacrifice your inner peace for someone else. Forgiveness is an act of self-love and healing. The reason for forgiving someone is not so much because you feel they deserve to be forgiven, but because you love yourself enough to not want to suffer anymore when you think about the person or the event. We learn to suffer just to punish whoever abused us and, in the end, we are the only ones who are hurt.
Never forget that each of us is on our own journey. We choose to play roles for each other to give each other an opportunity to learn the life lessons we came here to learn. Thank the people who have hurt you for playing their roles so well. If it wasn’t for those who have hurt us the most, we would not be the people we are today.
Start with forgiving yourself for anything you feel you have or haven’t done in the past in regards to relationships. Do what I do. Look in the mirror and kiss your own hand and say over and over again, “Its ok. No worries. You are so wonderful!” Ok, so maybe that only works for me, but regardless, give yourself a break today. Stop waiting for the other person to forgive you. There is nothing outside of you that can give you what you are looking for. The answers and peace you seek are one place and one place only … inside of YOU!
“Once we have forgiven ourselves for something, it is easier to forgive others for the same mistake.” ~Marianne Williamson
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.