Freedom in Forgiveness
“As long as we refuse to let go, holding onto our grudge, we choose to hold on to the pain, onto the story of what they did or didn’t do… and how that makes us feel is our own choosing.”
Forgiveness has been shown to lead to a reduction of anger as well as depression and stress. Forgiveness is never about the other person, it’s about your personal freedom as without forgiveness we stay trapped in a space of hurt, frustration and sadness.
An article in Psychology Today notes that “When you forgive someone, you make the choice to give up your desire for revenge and feelings of resentment.” and that “Instead of revenge, resentment, and judgment, you show generosity, compassion, and kindness” This can be easier in concept than in practice, however studies have shown that “people who can make this mental shift may benefit in ways they didn’t anticipate—namely, by living longer.”
To help us understand the practice of forgiveness so that we too can reap the health and well-being benefits of Forgiveness, 99FM’s MYD Heart sat down with Cécile Lescurat-Thieme, an accredited Journey Practitioner, to find out how forgiveness works and how we can truly harness its power.
Cécile explains that “There are many healing modalities which focus around forgiveness. The Journey ™ (Brandon Bays) is one of them.”
“Forgiveness is often confusing to people: we sometimes understand it as implying we think more of ourselves than of the offending party. As if we were bigger than them, so we can forgive them. Forgiveness then has an arrogance to it, an I’m better than you colour to it, which puts off many of us.” says Cécile.
“In truth, Forgiveness hasn’t got much to do with the offending party. It is a place of letting go within ourselves and for our own benefit.”
In the words of Brandon Bays True forgiveness, is “being willing to drop your games, open and release the stored pain and allow natural compassion. It means letting go of victimhood and blame”.
Cécile notes that this is “Because that is the pain. As long as we refuse to let go, holding onto our grudge, we choose to hold on to the pain, onto the story of what they did or didn’t do… and how that makes us feel is our own choosing. Yet there is a place in forgiveness where we can be free from that pain.”
But how do we know who and what to forgive? Well, according to Cécile “It is almost irrelevant whether the other person deserves the forgiveness, can or can’t be forgiven. Yes they will benefit and we will feel the release when we stop binding ourselves to them so hard, when we let go of our grip on them. But Forgiveness is first and foremost a relief, an opening in you. And sometimes it is challenging to accept to let go and give to ourselves in that way. It is not second nature; we’ve learnt to hold on so tight.”
And how is this possible in action? Cécile explains that “Sometimes in life or in a Journey Process, we can only forgive a few percentages at a time. And that’s OK. Even if only 20% true forgiveness takes place, then that’s as much energy recovered for us. As much pain lifted, until we reach the point where we are ready to let it go all at once.”
If you have something in your life, that for your own benefit, you need to let go of in order to be free, then remember that it is a process. However, as long as you’re on the journey, you are the one reaping the benefits.
If you want to get in touch with Cécile, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +264 (0)811281068
For the article by Psychology Today on the health benefits of forgiveness take a look here : Live Longer by Practicing Forgiveness.