Boy have I been here…Trying to forgive someone who not only doesn’t realize he (or she) is doing something wrong, but blames ME for getting mad. This is REALLY not the easiest thing in the world. I’ve been to support groups, and support groups, and did I mention support groups? None of them really had an answer for me until a friend of mine told me something that really stuck with me.
She said, “You need to allow yourself to grieve. Don’t grieve for the loss of the relationship, grieve for the relationship that could have been. Once you allow yourself to let go of that, forgiveness is easier.”
She was SO right!
Forgiveness is easier when you aren’t worried about the effect that relationship is going to have on you. For me, the relationship I had the most trouble letting go of was my father. Our relationship really got rocky after he and my mom split up, and I had a hard time letting go of the way I wished things were. Once I allowed myself to grieve the loss of the way I wanted things, I found it so much easier to forgive him for the way he was, and allow myself to move forward.
I found myself having to forgive myself for a lot of things as well, because I walked around with a lot of blame. I blamed myself for a lot of my failures, and I blamed myself for “not being good enough” for my father. That isn’t a good thing to walk around with, so I had a lot of healing to go through.
With the love of my family, and especially my mom and step-dad, I can now say that while my forgiveness may not be complete yet, I am well on my way. I can look at my father in a way I was never able to before, and I can allow myself to treat our relationship differently. I treat it in a way that won’t hurt me. When he does something that normally would send me spiraling, I can just laugh it off and leave it alone. I was never able to do that before.
He actually said something to me this weekend that my mom said was meant to be a put-down, and I can honestly say I never even noticed. I kept talking like he hadn’t even said anything. When my mom pointed that out to me, I realized I have moved forward, and adjusted way more than I thought. He truly didn’t bother me anymore. That’s what “forgive and forget” means to me. As human beings, we can’t ever truly forget when someone wrongs or hurts us. But when we forgive, we forget the hurt that person caused. This isn’t for them, to put ourselves in a position to get hurt again. It’s for us. To allow ourselves to move forward.
The bible says a LOT about forgiveness. Jesus’ disciples asked him how often we are to forgive someone. Jesus put it this way, “As many as 70 times 7.” Which basically means you keep forgiving over and over and over. Forgiveness should be a lifestyle. Even Martin Luther King stated that forgiveness is not an act, it’s a lifestyle. Not sure if I got the quote right, but I actually made a meme for my Instagram because it meant so much to me. Forgiveness is important. Live a life of forgiveness, and you never have to worry about being hurt. Not because people won’t wrong you, but because you have learned how to let it go, and move forward.
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Until Next Time,