Most of us believe that we’re granting someone a favor when we forgive them. In reality, we’re doing ourselves a favor: We’re freeing ourselves from the grip of any negative energy associated with the incident.
When we forgive others, we also are making a conscious choice to defer to what some call the Law of Reciprocity or the Law of Attraction. In other words, karma: Souls reap what we sow; we receive what we’ve given—in equal measure. It isn’t punishment or reward; it’s merely balance. It’s divine fairness. Why do we think God would do anything less than that?
Forgiving others also is a conscious decision to heal ourselves so that we can progress on our path, instead of being stuck in someone else’s stupidity. Forgiving someone does not endorse or excuse their behavior. And it does not let them off the hook. They own their behavior, and they alone will be held accountable for everything they do.
Life provides plenty of opportunities to experience the transformational power of forgiveness. I eagerly encourage you to reap the benefits of the practice (and it is a practice). Be very clear that the only way you can practice forgiveness is to attract a series bad actors onto your path, so be mindful when these opportunities arise.
Years ago, I created Forgiveness Coupons for one of my workshop groups. (I was surprised that the coupons were such a hit among the men!) At their request, I posted the coupons on my website so that everyone could replenish their supply.
I offer you the same opportunity. Download the coupons as often as necessary. Share them freely. Heal.
And don’t forget to heal yourself! When someone forgives you, the gift of release is theirs—not yours. So don’t forget to make the magic happen for you, too. Forgive yourself—I mean sincerely and completely forgive yourself—for all of the times you’ve done things to others that you would not want done to you. And validate your sincerity by consciously choosing to interact with others in a manner today that does not require self-forgiveness tomorrow.