You probably saw the title of this article and thought OH HELL NAW! Hear me out for a second. Forgiveness is not about the other person. It is not about forgetting or saying what someone did was ok. It’s not even about wishing them the best on their life’s endeavors. What it’s really about is you releasing the burden that you are carrying around and allowing yourself the opportunity to heal.
Every time we don’t forgive we add another brick on our backs. Over time this burden can be too heavy to bear. It can cause us emotional and mental pain. Instead of “getting back at” the person who hurt us we are only continuing to hurt ourselves. If anything we are allowing these people the opportunity to continue to hurt us for years after they are done.
How can we practice FORGIVENESS
1) Identify the hurt or wrong this person has committed
2) Feel the feelings that come up around this hurt
3) Try identify why the person may have done this
4) Think of the hurt and say “I love you, I’m sorry, Please Forgive Me, Thank you.” This is towards you not them
5) Seek out a therapist if this wound is so deep that you cannot release it
One of the best ways I’ve found to help me heal besides therapy is empathy. That’s why #3 is so important. Having empathy does not mean we think what the person did was acceptable but we can now understand why they did it. For example with my ex fiance who abused me and shot off a gun in my house. When I looked at his childhood and how he was raised I can see where his hurt stems from. As a victim of abuse himself and growing up seeing his mom be abused as well he became a very hurt, confused individual. Instead of dealing with that hurt in a healthy manner he took it out on those around him… like me.
I have forgiven my ex for what he did for me. Does that mean I will allow him back into my life? Absolutely not. Does it erase what he did? HELL NAW! Is my anxiety around our daughter going to visit him diminished? NOPE! But instead of having hate fester inside of me and allowing me to weigh me down I am free of it. For years I allowed my fear and hate to control me but no more. Forgiveness does not mean you continue to allow someone to hurt you or be part of your life. Instead it means you are not going to carry them and that pain with you any longer. This is for you not for them.
Remember YOU ARE BRAVE, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE AMAZING, & YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!