Are you forgiving?

What is your definition of forgiving? Each person will define what they consider forgiveness to be differently. Webster describes forgiving as being willing to forgive whatever the circumstance may be. However, willingness alone is not enough. Once we’ve made up our mind to forgive, we must also be willing to forget the harm caused to us. That my friend is much easier said than done.

Often times I have sought forgiveness for some wrong I have inflicted. And although the injured party may openly say that my apology is accepted, there is still that lingering strain on our relationship that will not allow us the closeness we once had. The difficulty comes from remembering the pain caused by the other person. If we can not forget, how can we truly forgive? Our lives are filled with difficult situations, people, and truly undesirable circumstances that more often than not cause us to be unwilling to forget the harm that another has caused.

Truly painful events make us cautious and apprehensive when it comes to being forgiving. Solely because people tend to commit the same offenses again and again. How then do we forgive and forget? It takes an act of God that touches our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirit enabling us to truly forgive. Over the years prayer has helped me to be forgiving and not to hold others accountable for past mistakes. I will not say this is easy, because it truly is not. However, in order to free ourselves of resentment and fear of reoccurring harm, we must let it go and trust that it will not happen again.

Too many of us feel trapped in stagnant romantic, family, or workplace relationships. Weighed down by toxic thoughts and emotions, we might be quick to judge and slow to pardon, and self-righteous about our feelings as we dwell on memories of what we or others did (or failed to do). In this trade paper edition, Iyanla Vanzant challenges us to liberate ourselves from the wounds of the past and to embrace the new power of forgiveness.

With Iyanla’s 21-Day Forgiveness Plan, you’ll explore relationship dynamics with your parents, children, friends, partners, co-workers, bosses, yourself, and even God. With journaling work and Emotional Freedom Techniques (also known as “tapping”), you’ll learn to live with more love; gain new clarity on your life, lessons, and blessings; and discover a new level of personal freedom, peace, and well-being. Forgiveness doesn’t mean agreeing with, condoning, or even liking what has happened.

Forgiveness means letting go and knowing that—regardless of how challenging, frightening, or difficult an experience may seem—everything is just as it needs to be in order for you to grow and learn. When you focus on how things “should” be, you deny the presence and power of love. Accept the events of the past, while being willing to change your perspective on them.

As Iyanla says, “Only forgiveness can liberate minds and hearts once held captive by anger, bitterness, resentment, and fear. Forgiveness is a true path to freedom that can renew faith, build trust, and nourish the soul.”

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