Forgiving other people for the hurt they may have caused you, can be some of the hardest and most important work in our lives. I have heard so many arguments against forgiveness such as they don’t deserve it, it was unforgivable, it’s too hard and even that it gives them strength to keep the anger.
For starters, forgiveness is for you and not them. Let me say that again, forgiveness is for you and not them. The other person most likely isn’t walking around wondering if you’ve forgiven them or not. They’re probably going forward in their lives regardless of your forgiveness or lack thereof. Not forgiving impacts your very perception of life and everything in it. It fractures your lens and causes your responses to come from an unskillful and potentially jaded place and often times unconsciously. Taking that pain from your shoulders allows you to come from a healed perspective.
Some actions are not forgivable, but the hurt person that allows that hurt to spill out onto others is always forgivable. Understand that we all hurt someone throughout our lives and typically it’s not on purpose. Just as we would want someone to understand our pain and struggle, we need to understand theirs. Forgiving isn’t saying that behavior is acceptable. Rather, it’s saying that I’m no longer going to allow that to victimize me.
It’s hard to forgive someone and let things go. However, it’s actually harder to carry that pain and trauma with us throughout our entire life. It’s hard to allow that pain to dictate our every response and to continue to hurt us. Don’t get so comfortable in the pain that you convince yourself that’s how it’s supposed to be. There is another way and it involves forgiveness of both yourself and others. That rage or hurt might feel like a motivator, but it’s unsustainable and counterproductive. It actually causes more issues than it appears to solve.
Bottom line, you must work on forgiveness in life in order to achieve true inner peace and happiness. That hard work needs to be done daily. It’s not something you do once and it’s done. Anytime the resentment, pain, trauma or discomfort appears it must be met with forgiveness.
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