Forgiveness is a touchy subject as many have endured terrible experiences in which they have suffered hugely. There are acts people have carried out that are truly abhorrent and in my eyes there is no coming back from. However, I do not have the right to dictate who should forgive and who deserves to be forgiven. In my life I have been on the receiving end of cruelty by words and actions. I too have dished out harsh words and carried out actions which have hurt others.
Choosing to forgive is more about you than the other person. In some circumstances the other person has no idea you are even holding anything against them. They are getting on with their life, oblivious that the words they flippantly spoke ten/twenty years ago are impacting on you. Even if they are aware of their actions, you can choose not to be bound by the past. You are unlikely to feel like forgiving and will find reasons why you are within your right not to. Forgiveness starts with intention. It must be deliberate. If we allow our feelings to lead the way, we will fail to do so.
I have had to forgive in order to move on with my life, not for the other party but for me. I no longer wanted to be bound by the past and remunerate what was said, what was done, how I felt – it was exhausting. In some circumstances I took years to forgive and the journey was long and hard but I arrived at this point. On reflection I can admit the unforgiveness ate at me, it made me resentful, angry and miserable. I spent years asking why my life panned out as it did. I was deeply unhappy throughout my teenage years because of several situations I has no control over. I smiled and laughed but inside I was broken. I learnt to hide it – probably far too well which affected me emotionally.
When we are betrayed, hurt, abused or overlooked we should not dismiss the emotions as they are real. Deceiving ourselves will not bring any form of healing. I believe we have a responsibility to remove ourselves (where possible) from the company of people who mean us harm. We must look after ourselves and our well being.
To round up, forgiveness will bring you freedom in your mind and loose you from past ties. It will enable you to live in the here and now rather than the past. It will enable you to shake off the old you and embrace the new you. It will enable you to have an element of joy and peace.
Do it for yourself even if not for the other person.
Do you struggle with forgiveness choosing to hold onto it or do you easily forgive?