5 Ways Forgiveness Fixes the Real Weight Problem
Pain happens. It seems almost unavoidable in the journey we call life. The issue is not so much that it happens. The problem is when pain changes us. Pain, when it is not healed, changes how we view the world. Even worse, it changes how we view ourselves. It puts a filter over our eyes, and becomes an interpreter for our lives.
Pain hurts. We don’t like to feel it. Once we’ve experienced it, we can recognize it. At least, we think we can. Over time, we teach ourselves to avoid things that look like pain, or that could possible cause it. We position ourselves to live as pain-free as possible. So, we choose the safe route. We take a predictable path, ensuring there is ample comfort along the way.
The pain, it seems, has found a way to control us. There is this whole other life to be lived – one of adventure and love. We can feel it’s pull somewhere deep inside us, hidden in some almost forgotten part of our heart. But we don’t know how to get it. We don’t know how to make that life a reality. It’s risky, unpredictable, and full of unknowns. We’ve taught ourselves to avoid that.
Pushing aside that call to the life we’ve always wanted, we seem to have lost our way, and more importantly, ourselves. We have to get it back. The only way, though, to truly recover that person, the real you, is to face the pain, and deal with it once and for all. We need to heal the pain if we want to heal our heart and brain.
To do that, we need to forgive. It is absolutely crucial to lifting the weight off of us. Here are five ways forgiveness makes you “weightless”.
1. Forgiveness releases you from someone else’s control, even your own.
Forgiveness helps you take personal responsibility again. It frees you from a victim mindset. When you live with a victim mindset, you always feel like the world is against you, and nothing is in your control. The truth, though, is that you have control of how you feel, and what thoughts you allow into your brain. That victim mentality tells you that you are not in control of your own life.
Unforgiveness is simply allowing someone else to control you. When you hold onto the pain that happened, you are really holding on to the person that caused it. You have to forgive them. You have to free them from the offense you’ve attached to them. When you do you will release yourself from the need to hold on to the pain. Whenever pain happens, we feel powerless. Harboring unforgiveness towards someone is a cheap way to feel powerful again. But you need to let go of that cheap substitute if you want to reclaim the real thing.
2. Forgiveness releases you of your need to measure up.
When pain happens, and we live with unforgiveness, we will constantly live with the feeling that we are not enough. The pain makes us feel weak. It feeds shame. It makes us think that the true version of ourselves is damaged goods, now bad – and thus unlovable. In an effort to counter that helpless feeling, we strive to measure up. We live with this feeling that there is some point at which we can do enough to be accepted and loved again. The problem is that we always feel like we’re below it, unable to ever reach that place.
When you forgive, and the weight is lifted, you’ll be able to find healing from shame. Shame is always tied to some event or events when pain happened. Forgiveness unties you from the event. It doesn’t mean the event never happened. It just means that it no longer controls you. Forgiveness rewrites the story of pain and shame into one of redemption and healing.
3. Forgiveness releases you to love yourself again.
The need to measure up is really a need to be able to receive love. It says, “If I do/am ‘enough’ I will be loved.” You’ll never reach that place of “enough” until you forgive. Then you’ll realize that measuring up was never really what you were after. It was love.
When you forgive, a lot more happens than just healing from pain. You’ll lose the need to be perfect. You’ll be okay with failing. You’ll be able to receive love because it will no longer be tied to performance. You can love yourself just because you can. You are already amazing, incredible, and worthy of love. You don’t have to do anything to deserve it.
4. Forgiveness releases you to love others again.
When you forgive others, you actually release them from a “prison” in your mind. Unforgiveness holds people captive. It puts a filter over your eyes to only see people through the pain they caused. When you forgive them, you start to see them for who they really are, not through the mistakes they’ve made. It does take time. It’s not an overnight thing, but then again, neither does a cut on the hand heal overnight. Healing takes time.
As you begin to love yourself again, you will also free yourself from the need to impress others. It allows to you to focus on actually connecting with others instead of performing for them. You’ll see them through eyes of self-love and you’ll start to accept them for who they really are. You’ll start to really love them and no longer live in defense against disappointment.
5. Forgiveness helps you listen to your heart again.
When pain happens, we tend to shut off the source – that place where the pain resides. We close off the heart. Then we live in an avoidance of pain. A wounded heart looks for comfort and safety. The brain does it’s best to interpret what the heart is saying and help. It seeks control to avoid the possibility of pain coming in again. When we forgive and the heart begins to heal, we start to allow ourselves to listen to the kind of language the heart speaks. We start to live from a place of adventure instead of perceived safety. We start to recognize love and no longer judgement.
It’s the result of not being controlled by pain anymore.
One way to start is to ask your heart these questions: “Heart, how are you doing? What do you need to feel okay?” You may be surprised by how clear the answer is.
How to Forgive
Forgiveness is simply letting go. It starts by just saying it. Forgiving others is really important, but we also need to forgive ourselves. So, ignore your brain’s messages for a minute and let your heart say, “I forgive myself.” Just say it. Repeat in your mind over and over again for a few minutes.
Get specific now. “I forgive myself for treating my body badly.” “I forgive myself for becoming overweight.” “I forgive myself for trying to be perfect.” “I forgive myself for not loving myself.”
Now, it’s time to forgive others. Whoever that person is, we have to free them from the prison of unforgiveness we’ve placed them in. Just imagine in your mind that they are in a prison and you have the key. Unlock the door and open it to let them out. Now throw away the key. IN your mind, say “I forgive you” and “I release you, forever.”
The most important thing to do now is to let love in. We don’t need to dwell on anyone else. There’s no one to hold anything against anymore. It’s time to love ourselves again.
Say this phrase in your mind, “I love myself.” Repeat it over and over again in your mind. Let love in. don’t block it. [Take 30 seconds and do this right now. You’ll feel an instant shift.]
This is how healing begins.
This process of forgiveness and love will take time. It may help repeating those simple exercises. Just remember, you don’t have to live a life of measuring up anymore. You can look at yourself and love yourself again. You can love others again. You can live without the weight and finally become the person you were always meant to be.
It’s time to become the real you.
For real this time.
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