For many years I thought forgiveness meant I had to pretend that being raped was OK, that being beaten was OK but I found out a few years ago that forgiveness isn't that at all.
I was waiting for the people who wronged me or who injured me to say, "I'm sorry, I did that".
First, they were never going to admit what they did and following that logic, why would they say they were sorry?
So, I was holding that injury or mean comment in a space in my heart waiting for that day I could finally crack it open and send it on its way. After all, that person(s) didn't deserve my kindness much less forgiveness.
After 50 years of holding space for hurt and pain it was starting to get hard to fit love in there. I hated forgiveness and I wasn't going to do it-I wasn't going to let them of the hook. But then...
A very good therapist, Sara Pelton, told me in session that forgiveness isn't letting someone off the hook. Forgiveness is about cleaning out my heart-space, making room for love and joy and happiness. I actually don't think she said just those words but that's what I understood her words to mean. Also, around that time I started really acknowledging my spirit guides and they were saying "Forgiving doesn't mean you have to say what they did was OK. Forgiving doesn't mean that you have to pretend that you want to be around that person. Forgiving doesn't mean that you put yourself in jeopardy."
So, I decided to clean out that space AND not to expose myself to toxic people. That's where 2 of my meditations come from, the purging meditation and the self-protection meditation. They are here on this website as audio and downloads.
This clean-out isn't a one and done deal. I find I still need to do it, especially when my heart feels heavy and I'm exhausted. You see, love and joy and happiness lighten you and lift you up. Also, a good night's sleep doesn't hurt.