One of the hardest things in life is forgiveness. The act all humans have encountered and struggled with the most. The internal conflict of forgiving or letting anger brew. The difficulty of accepting the wrongs, the hurt. Giving forgiveness to others or ourselves, truly is a hard-won predicament. It will never be easy, but it is necessary if we want to find peace once again.
When we’re hurt by someone or someone wrongs us, we not only feel it emotionally, by physically. The pain seeps through our veins, our hearts and souls. We literally feel it spread through our body. When it’s someone we aren’t particularly close with, it brings more anger and hate. We feel rage and want to “get back” at them, hurt them and make them feel as we do. But when it’s someone much closer to us, someone we love or have a close relationship with, it brings more emotional pain and sadness.
No matter who hurt us though, it’s our job to forgive. Forgiving is not for the other person. Forgiving is not making what they did “okay” or acceptable. Forgiving is for you and you alone. To forgive is to acknowledge the wrong and pain, but having enough strength and respect for yourself to move on from the past and to have the courage to allow yourself to thrive in your future without wasting your energy holding onto resentment.
But to actually do this, it takes a lot of strength and courage. It is so hard and I know it is; there’s no way around it. I’m terrible at forgiveness. It’s something I wish I could do at times, but I find myself struggling so much. The hurt and pain can be unbearable and we feel the need to resent the other person and never allow them to forget. They don’t deserve our forgiveness, but then we hold so much anger and sadness within ourselves that we continue feeling the pain every day.
We are wasting our own precious energy and strength on anger and hate. Our time on this earth is so fleeting, so while we waste our days dwelling on and reliving the pain, we let the hurt and wrong live and become who we are. We are allowing it to define us, and our thoughts and actions. We are giving power to the past and we become a deterrent to our own future.
It’s even more of a deterrent when we can’t forgive ourselves. We do something we think is wrong or we feel guilt or shame for and then hold it against ourselves, trapping ourselves in our own hate. We become stuck in our own past mistakes, ruminating, we don’t allow ourselves to more forward. If we can’t even forgive ourselves and find peace within, we will never be able to forgive others. It becomes a perpetual cycle of hurt, pain, hate, and resentment. We don’t allow ourselves to grow, but make our lives a living hell. We can’t heal. We can’t find peace or live in love.
When we have a wrong done to us by someone else, sometimes they genuinely screwed up and they realize it. They hurt too, and they apologize because they want to free themselves from the hate they feel toward that wrong. It’s then our job to accept that apology and begin to heal ourselves and hopefully the relationship with that person. But again, forgiveness is hard and accepting an “I’m sorry”, can cut to the core. Knowing that they too, realized it was hurtful can make you feel acknowledged, embarrassed, more resentful, or it may open your heart to forgiveness. I know for me, when someone I love apologizes, I get choked up and will probably cry. I feel suffocated. Maybe it’s the release of emotion that is finally allowed to happen inside me, making room for forgiveness. It’s my mind letting my body release the hurt and start the healing process.
When you have to forgive yourself, you also have to apologize to yourself. How can you possibly do these two difficult tasks at once? Time, patience, and love. You need to give yourself time to think about “why” you feel hurt by yourself or actions, and why it’s affecting you so greatly. You need to have patience with the process of healing and path to finding that inner strength and courage. Then you need to realize that the only way to reset that balance of calm and peace, is to love. You are human and you are going to make mistakes and wrongs. Others will make mistakes and wrongs too. And that does not need to create a life of hate and stagnation. You hold the power to realize that you have control of living in a future of love and respect for yourself and your own growth, or allowing yourself to become stagnant and full of anger, hate, and resentment.
We as humans have the choice and the power to overcome the struggle of forgiveness. To not allow wrongs and hurt to dictate our lives, but to accept that it happened and move on. Not because the hurt, pain, or wrong is justified, but because we respect ourselves enough to continue on a path of light, love, peace, and happiness.
So tell me:
+ Do you struggle with forgiveness?
+ I challenge you to forgive someone in your live. Maybe not today, or next week, but soon, to release yourself into peace and love once again.
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