Let’s face it….the art of forgiveness is so difficult. Regardless of your religious beliefs, we can all acknowledge that it must be hard if Jesus spent so much time on the topic. The problem is that while we know forgiveness is liberating we all know that it is difficult when we are in pain and our pain goes unnoticed or unappreciated.
Further, we all know that forgiveness is for us not them. And yet……I don’t make a hypocrite of myself by saying that I ALWAYS forgive others. Honestly, I am a ride or die chick until you slit your throat with me and then your days are numbered. No questions, no explanations, not counseling sessions….I will readily admit that I don’t have a great deal of patience. If I don’t trust you…..well, you get nothing. I do, however, possess the ability to forgive the actions of others in the situation and keep it moving–though I have cut you off. But then I come back to….what if you harmed my daughter? Well, if I don’t kill you, then I am pretty sure that I am going to be mad until one of us dies. So I am back to square one. Not to paint an ugly picture of myself….I just know myself and I can acknowledge this is an area for growth.
Since I am currently working on this issue as an area for personal growth, I would like to share some steps I have learned are necessary for forgiveness:
- Be honest about how you feel and articulate that the situation is not OK. Sometimes we have to teach people how to treat us. Forgiveness is easier if you know you had the courage to stand up for yourself.
- Do what you need to do to forgive…take the time you need to forgive….and cry the tears you need to cry to forgive. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else. To Hell with everyone else.
- Do not equate forgiveness with reconciliation or the condoning of harmful actions. Forgiveness = Peace Anyone who does not bring you Peace needs to be demoted from their current position in your life. Let them go reapply somewhere else. Wish them luck on their new position.
- Acknowledge your pain. The worst thing you can do when someone hurts you is to act like it means nothing. As soon as we have to front, we have given the situation 10 times the power it would normally have because you have to live a lie. Keep it real.
- Find a positive outlet. Find some positive people. Do some community service. Don’t wallow.
- Quit expecting something from people who aren’t well enough to give it. You know that ol’ “I need closure” line we tell ourselves? It would be nice. But do you really think an ignorant, crazy, selfish person will own up to that? I doubt it. And any reason they give still probably wouldn’t make you feel any better. All you need to know is, regardless of intent, that person put your health, love, peace and prosperity in jeopardy. This is cause for pause….you may never get closure. Especially if the person refuses to acknowledge that they hurt you.
- Want to hurt someone who has hurt you? Live a good life! A life well lived is your best revenge. If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of people in your life who love you don’t neglect that for a dumb ass. Water flowers, not rocks.
I have no lie to tell…………….I am working on this. Wish me luck.