A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how to let go and forget the transgressions of others. Since then I’ve had people chime in asking how do you forget what someone did to you when you are struggling with the forgiving them for what they did in the first place. I must admit that is a very valid response. So let’s address it.
I will also admit that it isn’t always easy for me to offer forgiveness to individuals that do me wrong or I feel have done me wrong (but that’s for another post). But I realized that I had to learn to forgive or I would never get over the hurt. There have been a few things in my life that required that I forgive: abuse, infidelity, slander, rape, lying, and the list goes on. Even though I was not sure how I was going to get over the hurt associated with those things, I knew walking around mad was not helping me. I had to let go of the anger because it was destroying me.
Holding on to anger and not forgiving people will hurt you far more than it will ever hurt the other person. The other thing I learned is many times the person that you are angry with don’t even know the extent of your anger and may not even realize they have hurt you. When you hold on to that pain you tend to replay the instances over and over in your mind, causing you to relive the hurt. You think of all the things you should have done that “may” have changed the outcome. You beat yourself up and find ways to blame yourself. Do you see the pattern? You are inflicting pain on yourself for what someone else did.
BUT when you forgive you free yourself from that anger. When you forgive you stop the negative talk in your mind. You can change the images and thoughts you have about the situation. You provide an opportunity to break free of the bondage the hurt/person has over you. You place blame where blame is due and allow them to take responsibility for what they did. You stop blaming yourself for someone else’s actions or behaviors. Now do you see the pattern? You no longer allow that pain to bind you.
It is important for you to understand –
- Forgiveness is not something you do for the other person. It is something you do for yourself.
- Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an action.
- Forgiveness is not pardoning what they did. It is refusing to allow them to have power over you because of what they did.
- Forgiveness is not saying what you did didn’t hurt me. It is saying they will not continue to hurt me.
Forgiveness is something you DO every day. You have to make a conscious decision to let go of the pain. Unfortunately, forgiveness don’t come with feelings. It can only be completed by actions. I will go into further details in a later post but the first thing to do is: STOP SEEING YOURSELF AS A VICTIM!!! The actions of others is NOT a reflection of you. The choices they’ve made is a complete reflection of themselves and the issues they have within. If a person will hurt you, many times it’s because of the hurt they are experiencing themselves.
Another thing there they may be times when you have to disassociate yourself with the person that caused you pain and that’s okay. Because you don’t allow them in your presence does not mean you haven’t forgiven them. It simply means you have decided to place a boundary to protect yourself. The thing with forgiveness is making every effort to take care of yourself by any means necessary.
Until Next Time,