“A life lived without forgiveness is a prison.” ~ William Arthur Ward
A life lived without forgiveness is a life lived in the past. Living in the past is a conscious or an unconscious choice made through a connection to the past. In simple, the past is a time gone by and no longer exists in the present moment, but we choose to allow this past to occupy our minds, our bodies and our very existence. Living in the past is like choosing to cling to a chronic illness. Would you choose to be plagued with a chronic illness? Would you allow yourself to be
injected with a disease that could take your life? Why then, are you allowing yourself to be injected daily with the memories associated with the past? Why have you chosen to cling to the negative memories associated with your life? Have you found comfort with the negative memories, or do you feel incapable of letting go of the past?
Letting go of the past is through purposeful action. The action is the process with which we choose to rid the very essence of our person of the past. The past may be comprised of tragic events, thoughts, or circumstances. Whatever the case, the past is haunting you and it is denying you the freedom of moving forward in this life.
As a clinician and a person, I have been witness to countless individuals who have chosen to cling to the past. Clinging to the past is a purposeful action of recalling, remembering and harboring negative thoughts, deeds or actions. When we harbor the memories associated with the past, we are protecting the negative memories, rather than allowing them to exist no more. Moving beyond the past requires a combination of actions: letting go, forgiveness, and moving forward.
FORGIVENESS IS A STATE OF BEING
Forgiveness is not only a state of mind, but it is a state of being. It is woven through the very essence of our being. Forgiveness is a constant attitude occurring through a purposeful action. As humans, we are instinctively designed to forgive. It is only when we choose not to forgive that our minds, bodies, and spirits begin to experience disrepair. Those who choose not to forgive; choose to harbor the wrongs of others and of their own person, frequently have physical and psychological signs. Forgiveness cleanses the body, ridding it of the decay of negativity, disappointment, and heartache. It is through the act of forgiveness, that we can live a balanced and well-adjusted life. Forgiveness is the key to living life productively. Being productive enables us to be effective in this life, by producing the desires and intended results with which we may choose to acquire.
FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS
Forgiving others, especially our enemies, is a challenge indeed. What if, you had committed a wrong against another? Would you not have a deep desire to be forgiven? Have you ever experienced the denial of your repentance? What sort of effect did this have on your person? Were you shattered by the unwavering and unyielding of the person or persons you had wronged?
As a clinician, I have met a variety of patients / clients who’s hearts ache to be forgiven. As an individual, I too have had the experience of others denying the acceptance of my repentance. The denial of our repentance can have a penetrating effect, plunging like a dagger deep into the very core of our being. For so many, forgiveness and the lack of forgiveness, can prove a major stumbling block.
If we deny accepting the repentance of another, then we are intentionally and purposefully hanging on to the wrongs of the past. The wrongs of the past serve as a coat-of-arms. We identify our coat-of-arms as a shield of honor, but the reality is, our coat-of-arms is shielding the very nature of our person from allowing others to enter. It is serving as a warning sign, informing others to tread lightly because I will remove them from my life, if they wrong me.
For people who long for the acceptance of their repentance, they will continue to be haunted by their past wrongs as long as they choose to hang onto them.
Continue reading *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA