If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that a couple of weeks ago, I posted a question that gathered a lot of discussion, especially on Instagram, and the particular question was:
What will not forgiving cost you?
It was really interesting for me to read the responses to this particular question because I saw distinctly that there were two camps.
1 – A camp of sisters who started thinking about what ‘not forgiving in their life’ meant, so there were responses like:
— it cost me my life
— it cost me my peace
— it cost me my sanity
2 – A camp of sisters who had interpreted that particular question to mean that it is obligatory for us to forgive the person who has harmed us, or the perpetrator who has hurt us.
The reason why this was interesting for me was I’d deliberately left a gap in that question — I hadn’t mentioned who needed to be forgiven, or what it’ll cost to not forgive this or that person. That gap that I’d left required us to fill it with our own interpretation, and so that’s what happened — every sister came into the discussion with their own interpretation of whom it should be.
Do you know what’s particularly curious for me as I was typing that question?
The person I had in mind wasn’t someone that harmed us, it was actually ourselves.
There’s something super powerful about forgiving yourself. Often we are told that we need to forgive someone because we know that forgiveness is pleasing to Allah — He loves us to forgive, He’s the Most Forgiving, and He loves His creation to forgive one another. And if we think about it, it is better for our hearts to shed negative emotions for us to move on in a wholesome, healthy way in our lives. We know that, right?
The thing is, in the discussion of forgiveness, very few of us talk about how pertinent it is to forgive ourselves. Someone has harmed you, and you could forgive them or not, but what you don’t realise is there’s an internal, maybe unconscious dialogue, where you’re berating yourself:
You don’t even have any worth.
You don’t respect yourself.
How did you allow them to do that?
It was your fault that it happened anyway.
You deserve it.
These are words we hold on to and tell ourselves without realising that we’re carrying that with us for a long time.
In the last year, I had a client who had an issue with someone, and I remember how she was crying on our call and realised, after our discussion, that the person she most needed to forgive was herself. Obviously, that produced a new wave of tears because it was a mahoosive realisation.
Forgiving yourself is so cleansing.
When you forgive yourself,
when you lift that burden of blame and berating yourself,
when you really, wholeheartedly embrace the woman you are, and love and appreciate her
That’s powerful. And with that, you can move mountains.
In Friday Feeler #61 [24.8.17], I actually lay out 5 tips on how to forgive yourself, so go on check that episode and go through it
Yes, someone’s harmed you; yes, someone’s hurt you. Do you have to forgive them? There’s nothing in Islam, our religion, that it is a must.
Yes, Allah does say that forgiveness is better, but you have a right to seek justice; you have a right to seek revenge — a right within certain parameters for someone who has harmed you, and forgiveness is better, why? Because we know that it frees us from a burden that we’re holding on to. It really does.
I’ve shared this on social media before: forgiving the man who sexually abused me when I was 5 was a mahoosive part of my healing.
Yes, I still wouldn’t like to ever see his face again, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t forgive him. Just because I don’t want to see him, doesn’t mean I can’t forgive him; and just because I’ve forgiven him, doesn’t mean I’m now condoning the action, or I’m saying we’re going to be pals.
With my forgiveness, I’m saying, “I’m dropping this load, and I’m carrying on with my life. You did what you did, I let the anger, the angst, all of the negative emotion and energy, lay to rest, and I move on with my life.” I can acknowledge what happened without holding on to all of the negative weight, and that for me is how you can forgive to be free.
We’ve got a special time coming up, and that’s the month of Ramadan. And this concept of forgiveness is one of the internal processes that’s essential for us to move forward, grow, blossom, and flourish. It’s this notion of inside-out rectification that I teach in ‘Evolve During Ramadan‘.
Registration is currently open for ‘Evolve During Ramadan‘, and I encourage you to take an inside-out approach to Ramadan, and learn how to do that in this 4-week online course.
It’s Ramadan-changing, and it’s life-changing. I say that from the results I’ve seen from sisters who’ve taken the course, and it really brings me to tears when sisters take the lessons I teach, apply them in their lives, and see magnificent results. It brings me tears of gratitude, and hope also knowing that more people could be doing this work.
You could be one of those people doing it this year.
Click on the link to sign up for Evolve During Ramadan, and get on the course so you can do that inner work before and during the month of Ramadan, so you can evolve and have real, positive, life-changing changes in your life.
Okay, my lovely. That’s me signing out for today. Have a wonderful weekend, inshaAllah, and I look forward to being in your inbox again next week.
When it comes to preparing for Ramadan, most people start getting checklists ready, dusting off their Qur’an, and finding ways to do more during the blessed month.
There’s a less stressful way to maximise the benefits and blessings of Ramadan.