Forgiveness is my favorite personal character decision I utilize constantly and consistently. I used to believe forgiveness meant condoning someone else’s bad behavior. And eventually, I saw forgiveness as weakness.
But as life unfolded itself, I began to see how much forgiveness played a major role in my healing and freedom. Today I want to focus on how forgiveness can help heal and free you.
Forgiveness Is Really Meant For You
When someone dishonors us, forgiveness plays two parts: one for the offender and one for ourselves.
Forgiveness is not about condoning the actions or choices of another. Forgiveness is about allowing yourself permission to move past the pain another person put you through.
Because Carrying Hurt Or Resentment Is Heavy
Imagine life as hiking through a rugged mountain. We experience moments of easy flat land as well as steep inclines we must trek. Now imagine doing so with a backpack full of heavy stones.
Every anger, bitterness, and resentment is like carrying an unnecessary weight which will affect the total experience of your journey.
At first, the backpack full of stones is separate from you. But as you continue your journey, you begin to not be able to tell difference—it infuses and becomes you.
You Become The Heavy One
Once you cannot separate yourself from the weight of your anger, resentment, and bitterness caused by other’s offenses, you change.
You become the heavy one in all of your future experiences: your relationships and how you interact with others. It’s a vibe that is palpable and easily felt.
Essentially, your life is being afflicted by other people’s sh*t and wrongdoing. You become a slave to their choice of dishonoring you. This becomes your unconscious obsession.
Forgiveness Demonstrates Your Inner Power
When we are driven by revenge, the person who hurt or betrayed us controls us. We make decisions based on pain.
Side note: in cases of breaking the law, you can—and should—pursue legal action to the fullest extent. You can still find forgiveness of the perpetrator somewhere along the way.
We can choose to forgive and still take righteous action. When we do that, we are demonstrating that our self-love and self-respect is higher than our hurt and pain.
How People Treat You Is A Reflection Of Who They Are
This has been a powerful realization that I was able to accept through the help of like-minded professionals. “How people react and treat you, is a reflection of who they are. What you do and say, is a reflection of who you are.”
You cannot force anyone to do anything: good or bad. People reveal to you who they are with time.
And everything in a person’s life is a choice.
When you choose to forgive someone, even if they hurt you or betrayed you, you simply are holding them accountable to their actions. You are holding them accountable to who they are.
Forgiveness Allows You To Be “The One That Got Away”
Whether in friendships or intimate relationships that end, by choosing to forgive (remember not condone) you can approach the end of a relationship with grace and tactfulness.
We hear of stories where a relationship ends and there is a psychotic reaction from one or both parties. Yeah, don’t be that person. Never give someone the future memories of a deranged and crazy you. It’s not “passion”, it’s a severe mental breakdown—not attractive.
How we say goodbye…is just as important as how we began a life with someone.
Forgiveness Is A Gift You Give To Yourself
We often don’t think about forgiving ourselves, but this is an important approach to having a healthy and loving relationship with yourself.
We need to forgive ourselves. Whether it be for staying in dynamics or situations that only hurt us deeply. Or maybe when we became so critical of ourselves that we actually hurt ourselves.
We cannot achieve a healthy relationship with ourselves until we first start with forgiveness.
Forgiveness Helps Us Grow
Facing ourselves, and taking responsibility, calls for us to grow up really fast. Sometimes we hold onto dear life and attempt to stay “safe” in our innocent bubble of false realities.
Maturity is never a comfortable process. But just as seedling bursts from the shell of a seed. And just as a flower blooms. We only reach our possibilities, by accepting and knowing where we are exactly right now—and choosing to push forth.
Sometimes we will need a strong dose of forgiveness when we realize how large of a role we’ve played in keeping ourselves back from our potentials and possibilities.
Forgiveness Helps You Love Again
A bitter, jaded, and angry heart is a cold one. Not much can flourish there. When we choose to forgive, we are allowing warmth to revitalize our broken pieces.
After a relationship ends from hurt or betrayal, a natural process is to shield and protect one’s self from further pain. That’s okay, it’s a survival mechanism.
But as with any scar tissue, with time you need to break it up to make it soft and malleable. So that it can be as close to the original and natural format.
Because Love Is Forgiveness
You’re really not going to find love without forgiveness present. They go hand-in-hand. Just as a mother forgives their child for ruining their favorite possession or a close friend making an error accidentally—forgiveness is part of the journey of love.
And more importantly, in order to love yourself, you’re going to have to forgive the parts where you didn’t know better. But the most important part of forgiveness is: changed behavior.
How important has forgiveness been in your life? Comment down below and share your stories of when you chose to forgive, even though it was the most difficult thing to do at the time.
I think we each find our ways to heal ourselves. But the one thing you can always count on is the power of forgiveness.
Forgiveness was never meant to condone the behaviors and actions of others. More to allow the hurts and pains from the past, remain where it should—buried in the past.
And hold others accountable for what they did, as you free yourself to experience better possibilities in the future. To forgive is simply allowing yourself to be: free.
Be kind and well to yourself,