Forgiveness is something we all know we should do, and I think we do it wrong a lot of the time. Besides thinking it’s about the other person, we also put all kinds of pressure on it, like deadlines or the expectation things go back to the way they were before.
There are a ton of benefits to truly forgiving, but the biggest one is your sanity. Holding onto things for too long is like chewing on rat poison. It will kill you. Where do you think ulcers come from? (Seriously, read the book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers)
Even if you think you’re forgiving someone else’s transgressions, what you’re really doing, the part that actually matters, is all about you.
In the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, the author, Don Miguel Ruiz, instructs us not to take anything personally. I don’t know about you, but for me that was life-changing. He says, “Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
If nothing others do is because of you, the same must be true for you. Nothing you do is because of other people. What you say and do is a projection of your own reality, your own dream. Which means when you apologize, forgive, and let go in relation to “someone” else, you’re really apologizing, forgiving, and letting go in relation to yourself.