Forgiveness is a word that has been popping up lately. It seems that no matter where I go someone has something to say about forgiveness. Eventually once you hear it so many times, you start to listen even if it is because there is nothing else to tune into.

Well if we are gonna venture down the lane of forgiveness, I've got some thoughts of my own. Forgiveness is painful -- plain and simple. It isn't fun. It isn't some la-de-da way to move on from a sucky situation. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you have shaken off the downfall and you are now fixed. No forgiveness is painful.

I've heard all the opinions on forgiveness. I know the quotes and advice that people tend to rely on when speaking about forgiveness. I know the phrases that are supposed to somehow make us forget what happened and move on. Let me help you all out, it doesn't make it better.

I've written those same quotes in journals, on post-it notes, and in text messages. I've used those lines on myself and on others. But the truth is, they don't work. Because they simply don't tell the whole story.

I'm tired of the cliches and the pretty typographies made up on Pinterst and Instagram. I want someone to be honest, for once, about forgiveness. About what it really feels like and what it really is.

Forgiveness is hard. You have to give up what you know and what you believe about justice. You have to let go of the anger. You have to swallow your pride and realize that vengeance isn't going to fix this. It will probably just make it worse.

Vengeance, anger, fury. Words we are all too familiar with. Words that we don't think of when we think of forgiveness. But maybe we should. Anger is an instrumental emotion. We use it to our advantage, or what seems to be our advantage at the time. We figure that we can channel our anger into damaging the ego of the other person, similar to how they damaged ours.

We all know that I love a good spoiler, so here's one in this story: anger doesn't equal justice. Anger hides the fact that the damage is already done. And we are the ones suffering, not the other person. Staying angry just fuels this idea that if we can just 'get even' we will feel better. Spoiler #2: you probably won't.

When we stay angry, we learn to live in a state that isn't meant for longterm lease agreements. We confuse our minds and mess up our own emotions. We get fixated on an idea that isn't even relevant anymore. We are so focused on getting back to what we had before that we don't realize it isn't there anymore. Because life keeps moving, even when we try to hit the pause button.

Forgiveness is painful, but it isn't impossible. It isn't going to fix the problems, but it's going to help you cope with them. Forgiveness doesn't change what happened. But it helps you to move towards peace. (Notice I didn't say that forgiveness is the same they as peace, that's important).

Forgiveness isn't about the other person, it's about you. Forgiveness is realizing that it is more important for you to find peace with yourself than it is for you to destroy someone else's. You don't have to make amends with the other person, you don't have to acknowledge them -- it isn't about them.

Forgiveness is about letting go of that anger and being able to see the other choices you have before you. It's about accepting what happened and understanding that damages come with it. You can't be the same person you were before, but you can move forward with those scars towards the person you are meant to become.

Forgiveness means that you will no longer let what happened to you, define you. It means you are ready to take your life back.


1 thoughts:

  1. Really interesting piece, leaves me with a lot to think about but the last sentence really summarizes it. Forgiveness is empowering!


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