I know you hear it all the time. Forgive the person that offended you so you can move on with your life. Well, I am going to put my two cents in on this matter.
When someone first suggested that I forgive others and not speak or think vengeance, I thought they must be crazy. Why should I forgive the person that hurt me? I did not harm them. They harmed me so why must I be the one to forgive them for something I did not do?
Anyway, I got past my ego of wanting to take revenge for being wronged and decided to try forgiveness. My dilemma now is how, how to forgive?
I read in a book somewhere that I can’t remember, to write a letter to everyone that hurt me, a forgiveness letter.
So I did. Needless to say, it worked. Of course I had several letters because I had a lot of emotion to cover over a few years.
Then an amazing thing started to happen. I became so emotional while writing; the tears just began to flow and I felt like I could not stop. I continued writing until the emotion began to subside and I began to feel the relief from the moment.
This process continued for each and every forgiveness letter I wrote.
There were some letters where I felt anger and irritation. I pressed on through the anger and addressed why I was angry with that individual. I expressed myself exactly how I was feeling at the moment, colorful wording and all…hahahaha. I did not have a reason to be nice or diplomatic because this was for my benefit. Somewhere during the process I realized the benefit of totally expressing what I was feeling. No holding back! I was allowing it to flow exactly the way I was feeling it.
When I got to the last letter and cried out all the tears I could muster up and I ran out of colorful interesting things to say; I knew I had completed the task. I gathered the letters together and took them to my fireplace and stated a prayer of forgiveness to every person listed and I lit the match. Poof, the letters went up in flames along with my anger, hurt and regret. I can say I immediately felt relieved. Now of course if you are not a praying person, you can just mentally release all the hurt and pain you have been holding on to for years, allowing the feeling of peace to fulfill you.
Consequently, when I first began this process I could not visualize how writing a couple of forgiveness letters addressed to the individuals that have caused me pain would bring such peace.
But it worked! It worked so well until I have instructed my kids to do the same during times of anger and frustration concerning individuals they have encountered. They have reported sentiments of relief and peace as well.
It is my full belief that forgiveness really is for the offended and not necessarily the offender. The importance of allowing forgiveness to flow allows for you to move on without continuously harboring pain. So next time someone offends you and you are really angry and emotional and you are unable or express the sentiment to the person, write a letter. A letter that will never be mailed but that will address the issue will bring you peace. This, at least, has been my experience.