Unfortunately, most of us have been profoundly hurt and disappointed by someone we trusted and cared about. Forgiveness can be extremely challenging because the emotions involved can be intense. Understanding that forgiveness is not for the other person, but for our peace and happiness does not make it easier. How can you forgive someone that caused you so much pain, whether they apologize or not? I have always thought the words “I am sorry”, are just empty words and even more so when the same situation happens repeatedly.
Before I continue, it is important to understand forgiveness does not mean we are excusing the other person’s behavior, or we are forgetting what occurred. We can forgive, but the mind is not able to forget the pain we felt. Forgiveness can release us from the control of the person that harmed us and offer peace to move on.
When someone we trust causes us pain, we often want retaliation and revenge. We desire to hurt that other person as deeply as we were hurt. This does not do any good for anyone involved and allows for a negative and endless cycle to continue that pain.c
The benefits of forgiveness are infinite. Letting go and releasing the anger and pain can improve our health and enable peace into our hearts and mind. Forgiveness can lead to healthier relationships, improved mental health, less anxiety and stress, fewer depression issues, a stronger immune system, and an improvement in our heart health and self-esteem.
The bigger question is, how do we forgive. This is a process that cannot be rushed. It takes time because the pain feels so raw. You first need to be able to talk through your feelings. Before we can forgive someone, we need to embrace the feelings and put them into words, so we understand them clearly and the person that caused the pain understands what the damage was done.
Finding the bright side of the painful situation will not be easy, especially at first. Once you have had space from the issue, you may be able to see what was gained from this experience. You may never find the benefit to the cruel and emotional situation, but chances are you will feel like a better person for the compassion and understanding you embraced.
The bigger hurts can take a lot to forgive. Instead of seeing every detail and every hurtful moment, try to start small and forgive the small issues first. It is natural to struggle with forgiveness, but we can become better and learn more by practicing forgiveness daily.
We must also decide if we want to forgive or not. This decision should be thought about clearly and not taken lightly. Will forgiveness strengthen the relationship, or will it destroy the relationship are just a few things to think about before you decide.
One thing I always do when I have been hurt is, I never go to bed angry. Anytime I tried to sleep when I was upset and hurt, I cannot sleep. I think we should never go to bed angry or leave the house angry because bad things happen when we least expect them.
Overall, I am decent with forgiveness. I will be honest with you, there are a few people in life that I struggle to forgive because of how awful and painful the experience was. There is one person I will never forgive because the situation went on for a long time and did immense damage to my life, but that person is no longer alive. I guess when someone is not alive, there is not a need to forgive is there? Other people in my life have done some detrimental things and I know holding onto the hurt is only doing further harm, but some things are impossible to let go of. I am working on this and know there will come a day I can forgive these people but will never forget the hurt.
Thank you for visiting my site today and reading this post about forgiveness. When you have been hurt in the past, how did you get through the pain and forgive, or did you not decide to forgive? I am looking forward to reading your thoughts on this post and will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!
Reblogged this on Survivors Blog Here Mental Health Collaborative .
Thank you so much for this post, Alyssa! Forgive and forget, such easy words to say, but the actions can be almost impossible to do, at times. But as you write in your post, it is healthy for you to be able to do both.
I am still in a position where there is only one person in my life who I feel unable to forgive, the pain stung me so badly. I am trying to move forward, from the person, and the event, and am getting more understanding about why it happened. It still feels unforgivable to me, deep inside though.
Something that still needs a lot more thought, to ‘get over it’. This person is not in my personal life anymore though, and I blame myself for some of what happened, but have been able to forgive myself, to a large extent, for allowing myself to get caught up in a bad situation.
I am learning to step back more these days, if relationships seem to be getting too intense, and headed in potentially overly-emotional directions.
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You are more than welcome, Carolyn. I know it is best to forgive and forget because life is so short. The person that was in my life I will never be able to forgive is someone that tormented my life when I was younger with many types of abuse. Seeing the bright side to this was that he made me stronger and if he was alive today and did any of those things, I would be able to fight back.
People do not understand the damage they do to others and that is so sad. I am sorry for what you went through and continue to. You are strong person though and do not deserve anything bad to happen to you.