Having A Hard Time Forgiving? You Are Not Alone!
“To forgive” used to be a phrase that eluded me. I just didn’t understand what it meant to forgive or to have forgiveness for another’s actions. I mean, I had a general idea but it wasn’t until I really went through some things that the idea of forgiving someone had really crossed my mind. And I must say that I mulled over this concept for about 3 years until I stumbled upon what it meant to me.
To forgive means to let go of those feelings of hate and vengeance towards the person or people who have done you wrong, whether or not they actually deserve to be forgiven. It’s significance lies in the one doing the forgiving as it is also a way of releasing negative thoughts and emotions surrounding the circumstances, thus making that person more healthier and more whole again.
Most people have a hard time forgiving another for things that may have offended them or disrupted their lives. And like most people, I was one of them. It took me 3 years to forgive my mother but when I was ready, heck, I was ready! And in that moment, all the horrible things I had blamed her for, didn’t even matter. They all melted away to reveal a stubborn little girl heartbroken that she never had enough time with her mother, and pissed off from not understanding her mother’s less than desirable actions in life. The result was me crying on the floor like a tantrum-throwing toddler, on the phone with my mother while she calmly and affectionately expressed her undying love for me, her only baby girl, the only one of her 4 children that was actually planned and not a surprise.
Yes, in that exact moment, I knew precisely what forgiveness was. I knew it and felt it with all my heart! And I was ready. During those 3 years where I was at odds with my mom, I often wondered if I’d ever know what forgiveness was. I wondered what it would feel like and when it would come. That is just one experience that I’ve had with forgiveness.
Other experiences didn’t quite warrant the same feelings and thoughts. Those acts of forgiveness were definitely genuine but only because of the love I had for those people and the good memories that I’ve savored. In the first case, I let my love for one person overcome the opposition I had to not forgive while the second case was a bit harder as I was on the fence with ever speaking to this person again. But I did and I felt better not hanging on to such betrayal and misgivings.
For awhile, I was distant to this person and from time to time, got very angry about what happened if I let myself go there. This person tried to actively be in my life but I found myself not feeding into the bullshit. I felt that she wasn’t right to have in my life at the time and I happily listened to my gut instinct.
The act of forgiving others for their transgressions can be a pretty hefty thing to do but when you are ready, you will know. Take your time with this. There are mental and emotional processes that are taking place during this time. You definitely shouldn’t rush to get there knowing how much of a toll it can take on you and how mad and hurt you are over what happened. And hey, if that person who needs to be forgiven is of significance to you, then really think about what it means to fully forgive them for what was done. Do your own research on what it means to forgive, why it’s beneficial to you, and how not forgiving can affect your health.
In addition, to forgive, by all means does not signify that the actions done to you are on any level, okay. And if you happen to have a religious or spiritual background, it is even more so in your best interest to explore the concept of forgiveness. People make mistakes, they fuck up. But people can also change miraculously for the better. If you had the opportunity to inspire change within someone just by forgiving them, would you take that chance? Would you do that for them if you knew that your forgiveness incited positive changes within them?
I would. People are people. Carrying a grudge in your heart will only take you so far before you get sick, while carrying a heart full of love opens up doorways you didn’t even know existed. It’s nice to let the past go and live in peace. You should try it.