Has someone ever done something so hurtful to you that you felt vengeful? Have you ever held a grudge?
I’m sure you know how it feels when you keep waiting for an apology, and it never comes. You keep asking yourself, “How am I supposed to react to this situation? Why haven’t they apologized yet? Will it ever happen?”
You want them to regret what they did to you. You want them to recognize their faults. Most importantly, you want them to recognize you. You want them to recognize you as someone they hurt.
We have all been told that forgiveness is good for our soul, and it is. It is an omnipotent healing redemption that lifts and settles your spirit, whether you’re the one giving it or receiving it.
Everyone has a different story that is unique to their own personal experience.
I think there’s a strength in forgiving because it helps you free yourself from what has been holding you down. It is a reminder of God’s love when you treat others with kindness even if they do not deserve it. And truly, it helps just as much, if not more, when you free your heart from that bitterness and pain.
The thing is, we cannot force forgiveness. We cannot try to deny the anger, blame, judgement, and every other emotion that will still be there or is likely to come out at some point. So how do we reach forgiveness?
Forgiving someone does not mean that you allow them a free passage back into your heart or that they need to stay in your life.
True forgiveness is thinking about yourself. You are only hurting yourself if you keep hating others. It is mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting.
True forgiveness doesn’t require an apology. It is accepting that the apology will never come. Stop feeling like someone owes you an apology and stop hoping that the apology will come someday. Accept that not everyone gets an apology. The only thing you should accept is your big and tender heart in such a world that has the ability to break people down.
True forgiveness is realizing that recognition is actually a part of your ego and is not coming from a place of love. It’s coming from a place of fear of not being loved or worthy of love.
True forgiveness is placing yourself in his or her point of view. Try to make sense of the situation or understand what he or she did to you or the reason behind it. You will probably realize that he or she is probably hurting you because he or she is hurting too. Knowing this might urge you to forgive.
True forgiveness requires you to stop seeing yourself as a victim. Everything happened for a reason. Stop placing the blame on others and remember that what goes around does come back around. Once you realize that people are placed in your life for a reason to teach you a lesson, you can accelerate in wisdom, knowledge, and growth.
True forgiveness takes true strength, and true strength isn’t found in turning your back on love and shutting people out. It isn’t found in letting the hurt coat your heart like a layer of ice. It isn’t found in hate.
True strength is found in letting go. It’s letting down your ego. It means coming to terms with the pain someone has caused you. It means that you are no longer looking at an individual who hurt you as the person who ruined you. It is simply accepting the very fact that things happen for a reason and that he or she was put into your life to teach you a lesson of true forgiveness and strength.
Forgiving isn’t easy, but it’s definitely sweeter than revenge. It allows one to taste the sweetness of peace in his or her heart.
I only hope that after reading this, you forgive me for believing that like chains shackling you to the past, you will no longer pollute your heart with bitterness, fear, distrust, or anger. Forgive me for believing that hate is just another way of holding on and that you don’t belong in that place anymore. Forgive me because I’m setting a prisoner free and allowing you to discover that the whole time the prisoner was you.