Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things that we human beings experience. Forgiveness has to do with letting go of resentments, giving up the desire to revenge and to get even, and freeing ourselves of heavy burdens.
Forgiveness leads to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion. It confirms the divinity within us, it allows the spirit to flow in us.
Forgiveness is not:
- denying the hurt,
- condoning with the act,
- justifying what the other person has done,
- being indifferent to the hurt,
- pardoning the other person,
- or excusing the person who has hurt us.
Instead, it has everything to do with freeing ourselves and making us whole. When we hold onto grudges, we bring anger and resentments to all relationships, become so wrapped up in the wrong that we can`t enjoy the present moment, become depressed and anxious, have feelings of lack of meaning and purpose, lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others, and experience spiritual aridity.
When we forgive, we experience overall health, less stress, healthy blood pressure, self-esteem, and psycho-emotional wellbeing.
This is the story of a lady in Lesotho who was helped to experience forgiveness.
I was born in a remote village in Lesotho. When I was five, both my parents died, and my older brothers did not want to take care of me. They sent me to my grandmother, who made me a herdsgirl. I started grazing goats at the tender age of 5, I did not have any shoes or clothes, I only used a blanket to cover myself. My tender feet were very sore, stones and thorns would puncture my tender skin. I had to learn to run after the goats when they went astray, because if I made any mistakes, I was thoroughly beaten. My grandmother told me never to visit anyone, and never to eat any food offered by anyone other than herself. I never used to socialize, I was either at home doing the house chores, or grazing the goats. My skin was unrecognizable – I had sores, and hard skin of a person far much older than me. I never used to bathe, and I would go for a long time without food.
One day, I was sent by my grandmother to a neighbors house to bring something. When I got there, I found the family eating pumpkin together with other neighbors. They offered me some pumpkin, and I was so happy, I started eating with them. Suddenly, my grandmother came running. She screamed and yelled at me, reminding me of what she had told me – never to eat anything outside her home. She humiliated me so much. I was 8. She told me to throw away the pumpkin, and for the first time, I stood up to my grandmother. I told her I would not throw it away, she started flogging me. Due to anger and frustration, I took the pumpkin and smeared it all over my clothes as a protest. She shoved me out of the neighbors house and frog-marched me to her house. She told me to remove my dress and wash it, as she continued beating me. I will never forget that horrible experience.
Time came for my grandmother to transition to the next life, and I was called into the room where she was lying. I was horrified to see her lying there at the point of death. She took hold of my little hand, and caressed it, then without warning, she put my finger in her mouth and started biting me so hard. I screamed and yelled, I could not understand what she was doing, then she died with my finger stuck in her mouth. Those who were around forced her mouth open, and helped me take off my finger from her crenched teeth. This was very horrifying.
Then one of my brothers saw the condition in which I was, and decided to take me away with him. He enrolled me in school, and I started attending school after the age of 8.
I hated my brothers for abandoning, my parents for dying when I was so young, my grandmother for making me a slave and myself for being the last born in the family and being so helpless.”
This lady held resentments towards several people. She felt enslaved in this cycle of abuse, it felt like being in a trap.
We went through the process of forgiveness, using Quantum Energy Coaching (QEC) and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE), and after a few sessions, this is the testimony of the lady.
I cannot believe how much resentments I have been harboring in my life. I never ever thought that I would face this anger. These resentments have affected me and my parenting skills. I have had problems with relationships without knowing where these problems were coming from. Now I understand. Just this acknowledgement has given me remarkable relief, and being able to go through the process of letting go of resentments has made me whole again. I feel happier, and the skills I have learned in letting go of resentments and forgiving will become part of me. I will help other people, especially the children I care for, deal with their resentments and be fully alive.”
If you are struggling with resentments, you are not alone. However, there is hope, you can live fully again, you can rediscover the lost spark in your life, and you can set yourself free.