Have you ever been deserted or betrayed by someone you believed had your back? Or maybe you’ve been fired unjustly, stolen from or had your character defaced with lies. When people don’t support us the way we expect them to or rape, molest and abuse us, the damage can result in deep emotional wounds. These wounds come with effects of anger, resentment, discouragement, low self-esteem and poor self-worth. Forgiveness opens the heart to inner healing for those who have been deeply hurt.
Forgiveness is extending goodness toward those who have hurt you. It’s an enduring process so you won’t find a cookie cutter route along this path. The hardest part about forgiveness is making the decision to forgive. Because it can be a difficult decision to forgive, it’s important to do a ‘heart-check’ gauge before starting the journey. In his book, “8 Keys to Forgiveness”, Robert Enright shares seven tips on how to strengthen your heart muscle so that you experience success on the path of forgiveness.
- Make a commitment to do no harm.
- Cultivate a clearer vision.
- Understand and practice love.
- Understand and practice mercy.
- Practice forgiveness itself in small ways each day.
- Practice being consistent in your forgiveness.
- Persevere in your practice of forgiveness each day.
Forgiveness matters because it can literally save your life; it is the best healing medicine for deep emotional wounds. Forgiveness can reverse the lies you believed about yourself as a result of mental, emotional and sexual abuse. As we forgive, we benefit greatly from renewed, emotional health, which can lead to more orderly thinking, feeling and acting. Forgiveness positions us for good things to happen. When we forgive ourselves and others; it enables us to move forward, it frees us, and opens our heart to bigger and better experiences.
It is important to recognize the personal power that comes as a result of forgiveness. When you make the decision to forgive, you’re presented with an opportunity to create a more loving experience for yourself. When you stand up to the injustice you experienced, you now get to consciously choose how you will respond to what happened. You determine the effect it will have upon you. You decide how you will relate to the experience and how the experience will define you.