Forgiveness is a subject that is brought to our attention as we are social beings. Imperfection is in our nature, which makes it easy for us to please and hurt others in an inconsistent motion of living. And regardless of how kindhearted our natures can truly be, we will inevitably find ourselves in situations involving hurt feelings and broken hearts. Whether you have been cheated on by your significant other, betrayed by a close friend, or deceived by a family member, the pain and sorrow that accompanies the hurt will live with you just the same. It is natural. It will happen over and over again, involving different – and sometimes the same – people from past heartaches. You will be the cause of another’s heartache. We can never escape this unfortunate folly. Yet, there is a solution.
When we find ourselves in a position of extreme bitterness and anger towards another person, the thought of forgiving them is the last thing that crosses our minds. We may think: They don’t deserve my forgiveness, Forgiving them will let them off the hook, They never gave me an apology, or even Forgiving them will make me look weak. These same thoughts have circled my own brain many times regarding someone who has hurt me, and it took me a long time to realize that those thoughts were only hindering my potential for happiness and peace of mind. Here is why.
We are all people, all human, all imperfect. We hurt others. We are hurt by others. It makes no difference who does the hurting and who is the hurt because we are all guilty of being both the victim and the culprit at one time or another. We are all deserving of forgiveness. Even more so, we are all deserving of happiness. Because when you choose to forgive someone, it is not for that person – it is for you. And aren’t you worthy enough to live a content and stress-free life? Forgive.
Forgiving does not mean forgetting, as the old cliché goes. When you choose to forgive someone, you are not “letting them off the hook” and sending them away guiltless of their deeds. You are not condoning their actions and viewing them as acceptable. When you choose to forgive someone, you understand that you have been hurt and betrayed, but you do not let that define your mind and soul thereafter. The heartache is not forgotten, and is no longer felt. Forgiveness is an act that frees the body from physical, mental, and emotional anguish. And aren’t you important enough to free yourself from this bitterness that binds you? Forgive.
Forgiveness does not demand an apology. This was a very difficult concept for me to grasp. I would think, How can you forgive someone who is not even sorry? There will be times when the person who hurt you is sorry, and you may not be ready to forgive them right away. And there will be other times when that person will not be sorry, and you may feel like you will never be ready to forgive them. But if you want to find the peace and solace that you have desired since your anger first began, you must choose to forgive. Haven’t you felt this anger and hurt long enough to make you feel ill? Forgive.
Forgiveness is a choice that we are given to freely make however and whenever we wish. It is the piece of humanity that we can maintain control over. You cannot force a person to change, or make them act in certain ways that appease you. You cannot control who is going to hurt you and how they are going to hurt you and why they hurt you. But you can control how you react. You can choose to be happy, content, peaceful, and harmonious by choosing to forgive. It is an act that shows nothing but courage and strength. The capability of choosing to move past the pain and hurt a person has caused in order to better yourself is something to endear and embrace. When you choose to forgive, you do not choose feebleness – you choose strength.
The path to forgiveness is a long and strenuous one. Different acts of hurtfulness and pain will vary, and the choice to forgive may be more difficult for some than others. Always remember that your life is worth more than this sorrow and hurt in which you keep bound inside your heart. The potential for tranquility lies in your hands. So if you are able to find the strength and courage that I know is within your reach, forgive. Always forgive.