Yep. This is a post about the "F" word. Forgiveness!!! Yes, I said it, forgiveness. The act of forgiveness can seem so difficult sometimes. If you have ever been hurt and betrayed deeply, you may be thinking to yourself, bullsh*t!! From my own experience I can tell you, when you are in the throws of pain, the "F" word is the last thing you want to hear!! BUT, it is necessary. Not necessary for the offender, but necessary for YOU!! I feel like I have EVERY right to hold a grudge against a couple of people. They stole from me, they damaged me, they contributed to feelings of worthlessness, shame, and a soul bruised and battererd to the very core. I used to have revenge fantasies where I would imagine those that hurt me receiving the pain upon themselves that I brought upon them. Then I would have feelings of great anger because it seemed that everything was great for them and here I sat in pain with a destroyed life that I thought I couldn't put back together. BUT, I could and I did. I was allowing those who hurt me to still control me by holding onto my anger. The hardest thing for me to understand was: if I forgive then they will think that what they did was ok...they won't know how BAD...how AWFUL...how DEEPLY I was hurt. I was trying to punish them by remaining a victim and holding onto my anger! What I had to realize was the forgiving was for MY benefit. It was to FREE ME!! I was not and am not condoning the actions nor am I hoping for great things to happen to those who hurt me but I AM freeing myself by releasing myself from the pain by forgiving myself and forgiving those who have hurt me. That is all I can do. But if I want to move forward in my life, I can't carry someone else's baggage and someone else's problem. I have to operate from love and gratitude. Love for myself and gratitude for the character I have and the life I have. Forgiveness is not about the offender, it is about the offended. Forgiveness is freeing. Forgiveness is release of all of those negative feelings and making room for the positive. Here are two exercises you can do to release anger: 1) Write down the offenses and their effect on you, the negative feelings it brings up in you. Then, cut up those pieces of paper and put them into a balloon...fill with helium....release!! Let them go!! 2) Write a letter. In the letter write everything you want to say to this person....curse if you must...but put all of that anger in the letter ..... take the letter, a coffee can, and a lighter outside and set the letter on fire and drop it in the coffee can....watch it BURN!! If you want, read it outloud before you drop it in the can ....but put it out there and then watch it burn and feel the freedom that comes from that. I understand, believe me, that forgiveness is a big act. But, do it for yourself. Don't live as a victim, there is too much beauty in this world to live as a victim with a life full of excuses. When you free yourself, my friend, you will fly and THAT is the best revenge!!