Forgiveness – it’s such a simple word to concept, but is one of the most difficult battles for a person to conquer. We as human’s often hold onto pain, disappointments, and every horrific memory in our life. Why, because we are designed that way. We are hard-wired to not forget things that cause us pain, to avoid the same harms from occurring in the future. It is a survival mechanism that is deeply rooted in our existence. The fact of the matter is, people have a difficult time with living in the moment. We are either dwelling on the past or trying to anticipate and foresee the future.
Most people have suffered some type of emotional trauma and simply do not know how to cope. Whatever the circumstance were that caused such heartache; we allow it to dictate our happiness. It is a strenuous burden that becomes exhausting to carry.
Many people long to let go of the pain that they bear, but have no idea how to. Each time their mind finds a peaceful moment, an automatic thought begins to creep in. The tranquility and happiness are replaced with critical, bitter and hardening thoughts. The consuming thoughts take over and it is like, reliving the past on repeat in your mind. Even the strongest minds can suffer from depression and anxiety due to emotions that they haven’t learned to control. Resentment and anger begins to build within the heart and mind causing an emotionally phobic life. You become numb, bitter, angry, resentfuland, and mean as a defense to protect your mind and heart.
In order to reduce stress and anger in your life you have to learn to forgive; regardless whether it is yourself or someone else. It takes time and understanding. I read a quote that I absolutely loved, it stated, “Resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to dye.”
To learn how to let go of everything, to feel free from it, and move forward; we must first address what we are hurt and angry about. You have to be specific with yourself about what you are holding onto. Acknowledge the specific things and what it is about them that have caused so much pain. Then accept that it is over with. What I mean is, accept that what has been done can’t be changed. There is no going back in time to change it. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else. We are human, it is also part of our make-up to make mistakes. Forgiving someone or yourself, is not forgetting or neglecting to acknowledge what has been done.
Forgiveness and trust sometimes do not play well together when trying to move forward. We are hurt because we cared, and we are mad at someone because of their behavior. Their choices and actions resulted in the pain you feel, but you still love them. Yes, you do still love them and that is why letting go of the pain is so difficult to achieve; it is the only thing left to hold on to and of them you have left.
You may think that being mad at them and resenting them is like, some type of punishment they are having to experience. Sorry, but who do you think is the one really dealing with this punishment? It’s none other than yourself. You being mad and angry with someone is not going to change what was done, it isn’t going to change who they are, or what is in their heart. Those things fester inside of you, changing your outlook, becoming septic to your mind and soul.
That saying, “forgiveness is for you, not them” it is brutally honest. Acceptance and acknowledgement means that you can look back at it, understand that it hurt you, know that you can’t change it, and learn from it.
There is no need to regret your past or feel guilty about something; it helped shape you into who you have become. Mind, body and soul; it made you stronger. We are not always meant to understand why things happen or why we make mistakes; that we know better than to make. It is simply apart of life. Allow things to make you stronger and wiser; less bitter and angry. Know that when something bad happens, when we are hurt or when we experience something that changes who we are as a person; that all of those things have set in motion for new things, experiences and people. New opportunities are available if you can learn to look for them. Everything is a chain of events. When you can only focus on the negative things and stay living in the past, you will miss what is right in front of you. You won’t clearly see the opportunities that have or are being presented to you.
By forgiving, you are allowing a shift in your mind to happen. A transformation begins to happen where you no longer feel the burden of the pain daily. You can look back with the understanding that it may have hurt you, but no longer controls you. You will feel a certain amount of empathy and have an emotional scar from the experience, but it will no longer haunt your thoughts and steal your happiness. You take back your control and it becomes less about them, the pain, the hurt and everything else that was bothering you; it becomes more about your future and your happiness. By forgiving you are no longer the prisoner held back by the past experiences and you are finally free to let go to moving forward.