When I was a little girl, I thought the world of my father – even though he was absent for most of my childhood. There were a few times when my sister and I saw him, but there were many times when my father was a no show, or he called and cancelled our plans to see him at the very last minute.
When I was around twelve years old, my father moved out of the country without telling me he had plans to move before he left. When I finally found out he was gone, my heart broke. I had recently opened up to him, and I had shared with him that I was being bullied at school, and I also shared the problems I was having with my mom. He knew I was struggling and hurting deeply from both situations, and I asked him why he had left without asking me if I wanted to go with him. I remember crying and crying on the phone with him. I felt betrayed, unloved, and abandoned by him.
After having that conversation with my father and finding out that he moved out of the country, I made the decision to forget about him since he had clearly shown me that he was not thinking about me.
**Fast forward to January 2021**
A couple of months ago, I had a dream about my father. I saw him clearly in my dream, and I heard my own voice clearly say, “Forgive him.”
When I woke up from my dream, I was very surprised by the message I had received in it because I didn’t spend time thinking about my dad or spend time talking about him to other people. If he came up in my mind, I immediately dismissed the thoughts and begin thinking about something else.
I have received insights in my dreams before, and I have had dreams about events before they actually took place in real life, so I decided to sit down and take the time to think about the message I had been given to forgive my father.
What Does Forgiveness Mean?
My definition of forgiveness is letting go of the negative emotions you have towards the person who hurt you and letting go of the limiting beliefs you accepted about yourself because of the situation, so you can be free to move on from the experience – no longer letting your past taint your present and your future experiences.
Finding it Hard to Forgive? Why Forgiveness is so Important
When I sat down to think about the message from my dream, I asked to understand why I had been told to forgive my father when I felt nothing towards him, and I didn’t spend my time thinking about him or speaking about him to anyone.
As soon as I asked myself that question, the first thing that came up for me was that I had not actually let go of my feelings of pain, anger, disappointment, abandonment, and betrayal from my childhood when I found out my father had left the country. I had just locked those feelings away as a way to cope because at the time the feelings were way too much for me, and I didn’t know how to handle them.
I was also hiding how I truly felt about my father. After a little self-reflection, I realized I really disliked him, and I had not forgiven him for abandoning me when I needed him the most. I still felt anger towards him. I still felt he abandoned and betrayed me.
I was shocked to realize I was unconsciously holding a grudge against my father!
I understood I had the dream now because I have the knowledge and tools to heal the negative feelings I felt towards my father. If I truly wanted to, I could forgive him and move on.
Why is forgiving someone who hurt you so important?
Anger, or other negative emotions, can be very harmful to your body over time. For example, prolonged anger can contribute to a heart attack. Buddha was absolutely correct in the quote above. Any negative emotion is like poison to your body.
There was a time when I thought forgiving someone who hurt me meant that I was telling myself that the actions of the other person were okay, so I was not open to the process of forgiveness. Now, I understand that forgiving someone in any situation is mainly for me and not the other person.
If I choose to hold onto the anger, disappoint, betrayal, and pain, from my childhood, it probably won’t affect my father. I do know for sure that holding onto these emotions does negatively affect me. Holding onto my grudge towards my father really isn’t worth it for me especially since he isn’t a part of my life. I am no longer drinking the poison caused from holding onto my pain. My daily happiness and well-being are far more important to me.
What about you? Are you ready to stop the poisonous side affects from holding onto your pain?
The First Step in Your Emotional Healing Journey
The first step to forgiving someone and to healing emotionally is to decide that you’re ready to let go of your pain. When you tell yourself you’re ready to forgive, you can begin the healing process, and you take the first step in your emotional healing journey. Focus on taking one step at a time. After you have taken the first step, what is your next step?
It could be reading a book on forgiveness. It could be joining a support group online. It could be working one-on-one with a Coach like me who can support you in your healing process.
Whether you believe in a God or Goddess or not, it is okay to ask for guidance. Your request will be answered. Ask to become aware of the next step in your emotional healing journey when it’s presented to you. If you’re not open to it, it could be right in front of you, and you would not see it.
Please remember, that forgiveness is more for you than it is for the person who hurt you. The other person may or may not feel remorse for his or her actions, but if you hold onto your pain, it is definitely hurting you. Stop drinking the poison and waiting for the other person to die from it. Let go of your pain, so you can move on, experience more happiness, and create a better life for yourself – you deserve it!
Lots of love,
Emotional Healing Coach