Forgiveness is when you choose to free yourself from all the hurt, pain, resentment, bitterness and anger that you would have acquired as a result of someone hurting you emotionally, psychologically or through their actions.
“What is the big deal with forgiveness anyway? What does it mean to forgive someone? How is this going to help me? They don’t deserve it!” These were the thoughts that often raced through my mind before I made the decision to forgive for the very first time.
Why is it so difficult for us to forgive?
From my experience I can tell you, I was filled with so much hurt, anger, pain and resentment that just the thought of forgiving angered me even more. After all, I trusted, respected and loved those offenders with all my heart.
Looking back now I can see why it was so difficult for me to forgive them. The reality is someone would do or say something we don’t like but the people who we consider near and dear to us will always have the biggest impact on how we feel.
It is our love for them that makes their betrayal so difficult for us to forgive them. When the people we care about and love do or say things that hurt us, their behaviour can be interpreted to be one that is not reflecting that love and consideration we’ve come to expect from them and this is what hurts more sometimes, than the actual wrong itself.
Let’s look at the side effects of unforgiveness:
- It keeps you prisoner of your hurt and pain.
- It prevents you from being truly happy.
- It hinders your personal and spiritual growth.
- It could negatively affect your health.
- It is a toxic and unhealthy type of existence.
Take the key and let yourself out of the self-made prison called “unforgiveness”.
Choose to forgive:
Sounds easy enough, but it isn’t. I won’t pretend or lie to you. It took me a long time to really forgive the people who hurt me over the years. Just saying, “I forgive you” didn’t make me feel better. I had to decide in my mind and spirit that I would say it and mean it. That I was going to release those negative feelings towards those people and not look back. Once I did that, I felt that heavy burden lift off of me. Say it and mean it!
So we’ve chosen to forgive our wrong doers and set ourselves free from the hurt and pain. Well done! What about the memories? That is another story. Any negative experiences that you have that caused you to unforgive in the first place, won’t just disappear. However, the process of forgiving and time would help you cope and even heal those wounds.
I recognized that I could not do it on my own. I had to dig deep and ask God to give me the strength and courage to face my demons. You can do it too!
Now let’s recap:
- Forgiveness is for YOU, not the person who hurt you.
- Forgiveness does not erase the memories of the hurt but it can free you from the prison of pain you often find yourself in.
- It is difficult at times to forgive but the benefits such as happiness and peace of mind are much better than the hurt, resentment and pain that unforgiveness brings.
- It feels good.
- Ask God for the strength and courage to overcome this once and for all.
I understand that you’ve been hurt and I understand that what I’m suggesting would take tremendous courage and emotional strength but believe me when I tell you this – YOU CAN DO IT! The focus here is YOU. Your happiness and peace of mind. Forgive them so you can be free. The choice is yours.