Forgiveness is not always the easiest thing to do. Whether it's forgiving ourselves or forgiving someone, we can struggle with this process.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven. When we let go of any resentment, we are able to start the process.
There is the misconception that forgiving someone who has wronged us involves being friendly with the person again and letting them back into our inner circle. This is not so..
What forgiveness is not...
- Forgiveness does not mean reconciliation. You can forgive someone and still choose to keep your distance if that's what is best for you.
- Forgiveness is not forgetting. You can forgive someone but that does not mean you have to forget what they did. If you choose to move forward, you should not hold it against them or remind them of their wrongs. However, proceed with caution.
- Forgiveness is not an easy fix. At times, this process can be long and painful but it's best to go through it (grow through what you go through.) Don't be in a rush to escape the pain, take time to heal.
The Process Of Forgiving Someone
This is a very difficult task, it's hard as hell, especially if the person really hurt you but you have to remember that forgiveness is not for others, it's really more for you. When you hold onto that pain and resentment, you give the person power over you. When you choose to forgive, you allow yourself to heal.
There is the harsh reality that you may have to forgive someone without even receiving an apology or acknowledgement of what they did. Remember, forgiveness is for you so forgive although you may never get an "i'm sorry" because your soul deserves peace.
"Forgiving someone may cost you your pride but not forgiving them will cost you your freedom."- Charles F. Glassma
I experienced this and what made it easier for me was a 30 day Written Prayer Challenge by Saunya Shelise where you prayed for a person who hurt you and wrote down every prayer for 30 days consistently. I cried half way through but it felt so good to let go and make peace with the situation.
You have to push through the pain because what hurts more than what they did is reliving that moment over and over again. Life is about choices and when you choose not to forgive, you choose to inflict that pain on yourself. Realize that you deserve better and you may feel broken right now but there is so much you will learn along the way.
Sometimes, the only closure you need is to accept that you deserve better.
Letting go takes time, be patient and work on it everyday until you feel free. Don't allow anyone to change who you are or stifle your growth. You are strong and you will overcome this.
You'll know that you have forgiven the person when you can reflect on the situation and feel peace, it hurts way less than it did before and you have no desire to seek "revenge". Instead, you just wish them the best.
If you have received an apology...
As I said, life is about choices so you can choose to accept the apology and move on or you can accept it and move forward.
If you choose to move forward, it is important to communicate how you felt to the other party and determine how you guys can positively move forward. Don't hold it against them but remember that they are flawed and there is the possibility the issue can arise again. Don't let forgiveness make you foolish but go in with an open heart.
If you don't let go of your resentment, if you refuse to forgive others, you'll be robbing yourself of your Heavenly Father's forgiveness. (Matthew 6:15)
The Process of Forgiving Yourself
This may be harder than forgiving another person but it is just as important. You have to let go of the guilt you feel or it will consume you.
You are also flawed and you will make mistakes but your mistakes do not define you. Own what you did and learn from it, don't beat yourself up. You can't relive the situation, what's done is done so forgive yourself and just do better.
"Don't remind yourself of what should have, could have or would have been. Release it and let it go. Move on."- Les Brown
The Process of Waiting To Be Forgiven
Unfortunately, you have no control over whether a person forgives you and when. All you can do is communicate your apology and hope that it is accepted. Don't force the person, give them time to heal. If it is accepted, it's up to you to make the necessary improvements.
Don't take someone's forgiveness for granted. When you know better, you do better so always strive to be good to people.
A Prayer For You
God, please help me to let go of anyone that you have not assigned to my life for a lifetime but only a season.
Help me to let go of any battle that is not mine to fight.
Help me to let go of the pain and forgive. Help me to overcome and see the lesson in this situation.
Help me to heal and move forward.
Have you struggled with forgiveness? Share your story with me!