True, wholesome, meaningful forgiveness doesn’t stop at saying a few magic words.
But it could start there.
Like every facet of healing, forgiveness is a process.
Likely because it takes an awful lot of self-awareness, compassion and fortitude to forgive — someone else, yourself, the past — and it takes time to hammer out those qualities.
It takes time and attention to put yourself back together.
Wisdom is earned; a token of our growth.
It makes sense that forgiving wouldn’t be a once-and-done sort of thing, a thing we gracefully lay aside on our first try. It’s too essential to be dealt with in one fell swoop.
If certain experiences in your past still weigh heavy on your soul, and you’re ready to confront those things (maybe again, but differently this time), then I made this list for you, too.
This is a list of things I forgive you for — “you” being my past and all the relationships that went sour, the way I used to go about my life, the mistakes and trouble I’ve made and the losses that changed me.
Making this list was a way for me to express how I still felt about things I’ve neglected to resolve for years.
It was an eye-opening exercise that showed me just how far I’ve come, and how much further I’d like to go.
“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” – Cherie Carter-Scott
One thing worth mentioning:
You don’t need to shed your past in order to live better right now. Maybe what you need more than anything else is to find a new way to remember. It's what I needed.
Try making your own “Things I forgive you for” list if you intuitively know you still have things to let go.
Take some time to think about all the big and little things you could stand forgiving yourself for, forgiving others for, after all this time. Be specific. Be general. Write a letter. Make a poem. Do this however it feels right.
Now that the dust has settled, treat each memory like a child: gently.
The result is an honest sense of forgiveness that releases you from resentment and weaves its way into the fabric of your life.
Things I Forgive You For:
Things left unsaid.
What could have been.
Judging too quickly.
Being so stubborn.
Shame kept secret.
How you chose to survive.
All the beauty that never saw the light of day.
Not knowing any better.
Grief I can’t even name.
Apologies that never came.
Lessons learned the hard way.
Giving up too soon.
The anger in my veins.
The moments I let slip by.
The time I didn't take.
Mistaking myself for an enemy.
Having no boundaries in place.
. . .
What still needs your forgiveness?
Tell me in the comments. What you share helps more than you know.
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