This July 4th, write your own declaration of independence! Announce your freedom from anger, resentment, pain, bitterness and fear. Make this the first day of your new life of freedom from these debilitating negative emotions. How can you attain this freedom? Forgiveness is the key that lets you out of the jail of anger and resentment. Forgiveness sets you free!
In the United States’ Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Forgiveness can help you attain these unalienable rights. My clients report that forgiveness has allowed them to take back their life, provided them liberty from the bonds of their past memories and made them happier.
One person reported that forgiveness allowed her to reconcile with her estranged daughters and her former in-laws. She reports that because she was able to forgive her ex-husband for turning her daughters against her, her former in-laws were finally, after many years, able to accept her. At the wedding of her oldest daughter, she was excluded from the family parties. She worked through a forgiveness process and, at the wedding of her second daughter, was thrilled to be invited to parties given by her former in-laws. “Because I was able to forgive,” she says, “My former in-laws sensed the change in me and were able to open their family circle to include me.”
Another reported that he forgave his cruel father at the father’s death bed. He declared his independence from the bitterness he felt toward the father that had abused him. This man forgave his father so that he could live the rest of his life in peace.
In my own life, I forgave a business partner who abandoned an altruistic project that we had worked on for years. I got sick and tired of being angry and bitter about the situation. I found that every time something would trigger a memory about the project, I would mentally replay the scenes from this sad drama like a broken record, wishing I had done something differently or getting mad at my partner all over again. This is the origin of my seven-step forgiveness process, which I developed during this painful time. I used it to forgive both myself and the other person. I now feel peace and gratitude toward this situation. I freed myself from the prison of bitterness and resentment.
Declare your independence today! Forgiveness can set you free of anger, resentment, pain, bitterness and fear.
Kristin Robertson is the author of A Forgiveness Journal:Letting Go of the Past.