Forgiving isletting go of all hopefor a better past.

What is forgiveness?

Forgiving is an inner cleansing. It is an act of love to yourself for which you don’t need the other person. You free yourself of the weight from the past, no longer wanting to drag it around with you. Not forgiving can literally make you sick, it costs you a tremendous amount of energy, which you would preferably use for living.

How do you forgive?

In fact it’s simple. You only need to understand that forgiving is about you and not about the other person. As long as you are still concerned with the other person, asking yourself why he did it, or as long as you wait until the other person will excuse himself or express his regret, you are not forgiving. You are merely repeating the story of yourself being right. You are recycling your own hatred, revenge, victimhood and blaming. One fine day you may realize that this brings you nothing. Then you are ready to forgive. The first step is the willingness to forgive. Then your attention is no longer directed outward but rather inward.

How does forgiveness work?

There is a simple method to go step by step through the process of forgiveness. You can practice it on your own or with a counsellor. It starts with writing down the things which have hurt you the most. Then you find your unfulfilled expectations connected with each of the hurts on your list. These you can speak out loud for yourself, letting them go one by one. You do this realizing that you can remain true to yourself and faithful to your desires, and at the same time you can stop expecting the other person to fulfil your needs. Now you clean your past, in order to be free to breathe in the present. It is the most precious gift you can ever give yourself.

What about self-forgiveness?

In essence this process is the same. You formulate for yourself what you regret or feel guilty about and let go of your expectations of yourself. You do this realizing that you cannot demand from your old self what you have learned in the meantime. You cancel the obligation to your former self to live up to your present standards.

For this whole process see the blue card (in Dutch) at Media called ‘vergeving in het kort’.

You can remain sitting under an apple tree for a very long time,hoping that it will grow pears.