Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts you can ever receive and give to someone or to yourself.
When someone forgives you, the feeling is great. You feel peaceful and redeemed. But when the person who forgives is you, the feeling is even better, it’s indescribable.
Forgiving others doesn’t make you weak. On the contrary, it’s a sign you’re strong.
Forgiveness is a release. It’s personal healing.
When you forgive others or yourself, you heal your soul and your mind. You free yourself from stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. You give yourself a new chance to make a new beginning.
Of course, forgiving isn’t easy at all. It’s difficult to forgive someone who did you wrong and hurt your feelings. At times, forgiving the person who has inflicted pain on you feels even more painful than the wound you suffered.
But, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you forget about what they did to you. It just means letting go of all the disappointment, anger, anguish, and pain you’ve accumulated for a time.
Forgiving someone means you don’t allow what happened to you to control you anymore. It means not allowing the hate, resentment, and all the negative feelings you’ve felt and kept in your heart for so long to disempower you anymore.
I know you often forgive the wrong people and you often wonder whether or not you should forgive someone. But, I want you to know that’s normal. At times, you forgive people who don’t deserve your forgiveness because you love them and don’t want to break off the relationship with them, be that emotional or otherwise.
Sometimes you forgive people even when they haven’t asked for it because you desperately want to fix things between you and the other person and save the relationship. Other times, you’re too scared to forgive someone because you think they’ll hurt you again.
Yet, the real question is: “What’s the use of holding the resentment and negative feelings within yourself? Because by holding grudges against someone, you’re not punishing them, you’re not giving them a taste of their own medicine. You’re just filling yourself with negative energy, hurt and stressing yourself out.
There’s power in forgiving.
There’s power in treating with kindness, respect, and mercy the person who was mean to and hurt you. There’s power in controlling your thoughts and actions and not hurting the person who didn’t bother hurting you.
Yet, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you want them to stay in your life.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you don’t have clear boundaries in terms of how far your kindness and forgiveness extends. It doesn’t mean that you give them the key to your heart again. That you let them into your life.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to stay in the draining, toxic, negative relationship with someone who didn’t respect and care about you. It doesn’t mean that you have to keep a close relationship with your ‘loving’ and ‘supportive’ partner, ‘loyal’ and ‘unselfish’ friend, or ‘devoted’ parent.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you give them another chance to hurt you again.
You can forgive someone for lying to you, for breaking their promises, for not staying by your side when you needed them the most, for treating you like an option.
You can forgive someone for bruising your soul and shattering your hopes. But NO!
That doesn’t mean you trust and want to keep that person in your life.
Trust is not something that can be earned overnight. You can’t trust someone the moment you meet them. In the same way, you can’t forgive someone the moment they tell you “I’m sorry” or “Please, forgive me.” You can’t forgive someone just because they request it. Forgiveness, just like trust and love, is never forced.
You forgive only when you’ve decided to heal yourself. Only when you’ve decided to let go of the pain you’ve carried for a time within yourself and move on.
Image: Michael Färber