One year, my Word of the Year was ‘LIGHT’ because I wanted to feel lighter, get rid of stuff. Looking at the year in retrospect, I wasn’t very successful at it 🙂

Yes, I eliminated material stuff when I moved, I decluttered my house before I moved, I had gotten rid of activities that were not filling me. But I still did not feel very ‘light’.

And I realized that there is a necessary step before seeing the light and being lighter. It’s releasing things. Setting them free. Or else you will continue to drag them along.

And in order to release, there is a step even before that. And it’s called Forgiveness.

Byron Katie says:

  • “When you argue against reality, you will suffer.”

Judgments are the thoughts or arguments we hold about or against what is, what was, and what should be. All judgments create suffering and need to be forgiven.

Iyanla Vanzant says:

  • “At the core of all judgements there is the belief that things are not as they should be, as we want them to be or as we need them to be.”
  • “When we are willing to be emotionally honest, we will discover that the reactions we have to circumstances, situations, and people give us more information about ourselves than about anyone or anything else.”
  • “Refusal to forgive is an act of violence that you commit against yourself. “

Forgiveness is not a requirement.
It is a choice.
You can forgive somebody (yes, even yourself) or you can hold on to your anger forever.
It’s your choice.

Is that anger really serving you?

Is it defining you?
Would it make you weaker or stronger to let go of this anger and hurt?

Anger, like joy, sadness or happiness, is an energy.
It is a force of your emotional life.
Such a force can lift you up or destroy you.

It is easy to see how other people’s anger hurts them and how their lives would improve if they could let it go.
It is not so easy to see how your lack of forgiveness is hurting YOU.

Iyanla writes: ‘Every feeling has its origin in a thought, because each thought that we have creates energy.

Similarly, Michael Grant in ‘The Twelve Laws of Life’ writes: What you think determines what you feel.” – “Your mind controls your mood. In fact, it is safe to say that you always have some thought (mind) before you feel something emotionally (mood). The thought might be so fast and seemingly “automatic” that you don’t even see it or think you are thinking it but you are. The truth is that  what you think determines what you feel – it’s a basic law of life. Your mind is like a puppy. It is running around like crazy, chewing on everything and peeing on your carpet. Until you train it to sit, listen to your commands and pee elsewhere. Your mind will go wild like this puppy unless you train it. And when you do, your thoughts become clearer and your emotions and feelings become easier to identify.

Or your mind is already a trained dog but has gotten a bit of a wrong training. You have default settings, beliefs, assumptions, prejudices, reactions that you have learned during the course of your life. And from time to time you should look at those to see if they are still serving you.

Sometimes we become addicted to our own storyline. To being right. To insisting on how wrong that other person was.

When you forgive someone, you are not approving of their behavior. You are not saying that what they did was right. You are only saying that you are no longer allowing your anger and hurt to rule your life, no matter how justified they are.

When you refuse to forgive, you allow that someone to take control of your life, your thoughts, your emotions.

Your forgiveness has nothing to with them. It is a gift of liberation, grace and courage you give yourself. It’s about you and what you deserve.

Forgiving FREES you. It liberates you. It makes you lighter.

Because we all want to be free. From past grudges, people who have hurt us, bad stories that have happened to us.

“If you want to see brave, look at those who can forgive.” Bahagavad Gita

Additional reading:

Forgiveness by Iyanla Vanzant