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A NEW HEART – OF FORGIVENESS, Some random thoughts

When the late President Moi of Kenya passed on last year many people came forward and spoke of the hurt and pain that he and his regime had inflicted on them and their families when he was in power but that they had chosen to forgive him. Indeed I remember as he handed over power to Kibaki at Uhuru Park, as many heckled him and threw all manner of twigs and mud at the podium he asked for forgiveness, I was there at the inauguration and I witnessed it all. Many years later, despite the pain of the past, we gave him a befitting send off worthy of a man of his stature. With that respect I am proud to be Kenyan.That is forgiveness. May he continue resting in Peace, Power and Grace today.
A few years ago someone who had really hurt me bad passed on. The day I got the news that she had died, I was asked whether I would attend her funeral and I was conflicted because of all the hurt and bitterness still in my heart.
Over time, I realized that I should have been bigger about the whole situation and asked to have a candid chat when she was alive and put it out to her -‘You hurt me but I forgive you.’ It would have set me free a long time ago. Sooner rather than later.
Over my life time I have been hurt by several people, and looking back what I have realized is that the longer I regurgitated about the situation, the longer it held me back from moving on with My Life.

Sometimes the person I have had to forgive is me for goofs I have made in this life. “I forgive you Kwambie Nyambane.” Being human I am not infallible and there are those I have hurt either by word or deed. Many times unknowingly. I ask you all to forgive me.If you feel aggrieved by me feel free to reach out to me and say, “Hey Kwambie you said/did 123 to me and it hurt. That was not right and I was hurt. Whether you agree or not, I forgive you.”
We need freedom to move from the pain and disappointments of the heart and move on with our lives….
Forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator, what they did or what happened but makes the victim rise above it all and sets the victim free.
I choose Forgiveness today.

Why is forgiveness so hard?
Evolution has endowed us with the psychological motivation to avoid being exploited by others and one of the ways to avoid exploitation is by hitting back or avoiding the exploiter. Anger and hatred make it hard to forgive and instead seek ways of revenge and retaliation And yet there are so many benefits of forgiveness One benefit of forgiveness is that it heals relationships. When one holds on to grudges and pain from the past, many carry the pain and insecurities even into new relationships. There are several other benefits of forgiveness which include; Improved mental health: Less anxiety, stress and hostility Reduces ones blood pressure Fewer symptoms of depression Boosts one immunity Improved heart health Improved self esteem I choose forgiveness today.

Steps to forgiveness

  1. Acknowledge the pain that you are going through, share and vent with a few trusted people your experience.
  2. Promise yourself to do what you have to do with yourself to feel better and move on with life.
  3. Understand that forgiveness does not right the wrong that the other person did to you, neither does it stop them from being held responsible for what they did to you. We forgive for personal freedom and to find inner peace.
  4. Sometimes we hold on to the hurt and pain for years and yet the effects of the wrong that was done to us have since cleared, we forgive to get the right perspectives to life again.
  5. Sometimes the feelings of hurt, disappointment, anger and pain can indeed be overwhelming, get yourself involved in stress relieving activities eg exercise, taking a walk, a drive by the countryside, listening to music, cooking, reading a book, watching a movie, gardening, etc.
  6. Sometimes the hurt and the disappointment come from what you hoped to come from the relationship but did not get. Remind yourself that only you are ultimately responsible for your happiness, success and health in life, you are enough to work hard and get this for yourself!
  7. Look for other ways to bring the happy back to your life instead of feeling sorry for yourself and going over and over again what hurt you.
  8. Remember. Forgiveness. Takes. Time.
  9. If all fails and the the pain and anger affects your normal functioning in life seek the services of a professional in mental health matters to hand hold you and help you move on.

However, there are times when forgiveness must wait, a little bit

  1. Before you forgive someone let anger and those feelings of retaliation run their course. Do not try and suppress, the anger and disappointment. Accept first that you are hurting. Depending on the circumstances, this could take days, months and even years.
  2. Everyone has their own way of dealing with hurt and feelings of betrayal and the timing for forgiveness depends on the severity of the injury, natural process and the reaction of others when they share their pain.
  3. Sometimes forgiving someone too readily makes it more likely that those who hurt you will hurt you again. You may need to confront the perpetrator and tell them that what they did was wrong.
  4. Critically analyse those that are asking you to forgive. For example past abusers, those who have a special relationship with the offender may have a bias towards the perpetrator and ask you to forgive.
  5. For people who have suffered sustained injustice in as much as we ask them to forgive the perpetrators of hurt, we need to address the injustices and the sustained injuries created over time for true healing to take place.

Will you at the right time choose forgiveness too?

“Wacha niKwambie”
April 2021 – A New Heart