Finding the gifts in past challenges is one of the most key elements to living a life of emotional freedom. In order to move toward becoming the person you aspire to be, it’s important to lighten your load so you can free up valuable energy.
The most challenging, traumatic and painful incidents of your life often carry the most weight, however, they each contain valuable gifts of learning, understanding, and compassion. One of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself is to lighten your load and find the blessings hidden in those challenges. You can do this through forgiveness.
Just the idea of forgiveness for many people conjures up feelings of discomfort and, in some cases, adamant opposition. Forgiveness is often viewed as letting someone who has wronged you off the perennial hook of retribution. The wounded ego would have you believe that forgiveness equals defeat.
What Is Forgiveness?
To be clear, forgiveness is not about condoning the act or behavior of someone who has violated your boundaries, nor is it about relieving that person of responsibility for their choices. Rather, the act of forgiveness is about letting go of your own anger, blame, and resentment, which inevitably frees you from the very cord that binds you to the person you’re begrudging.
Forgiveness is the hallway between the past and the future. Forgiveness is also the key to looking at your past experiences through a different lens—the lens of learning and of self-evolution. An integral part of healing your heart is a willingness to embrace the gifts that lie beneath the surface of your painful experiences.
These self-reflection questions can help you move through the process of finding the gifts that your past has to offer.
- What is the cost of holding onto my past grudges, disappointments, and resentments? Does it cost me valuable energy, vitality, intimacy, and self-esteem?
- How can I reinterpret my experience so that it is empowering, rather than disempowering? What is the lesson or the gift?
- How can I use this incident to heal my own heart?
- How can I use this lesson so that others can learn from me and maybe bypass a difficult life experience?
- How can I use this lesson to help the healing of the planet?
Forgiveness calls upon you to accept the past, which you have no power to change, and to take responsibility for your own behavior, which you do have the power to change.
Learning and growing from past experiences helps you to become kinder, stronger, wiser, and more compassionate. And it is from this place that you can move forward unencumbered and get a fresh start on the road to your dreams.