I think we’ve all personally felt the pain and anger that comes with someone wronging us. It can seem to persist forever. You really think you’ll hate someone forever. But there are some truths I’ve found along my life path about forgiving the unforgivable that I’d like to share with you.
1. It’s important to say out loud the ways we’ve been wronged.
It’s easy when you’re hurt by someone to go to everyone you know and elaborate on what happened. What isn’t easy is to actually say that you’ve been hurt. What isn’t easy is to look the one who hurt you in the face and say, “You did this, and it hurt me.” But when you do, there’s something so therapeutic about it.
2. Forgiveness is an important personal journey to take.
And quite the journey it can be. Depending on how close that person is to you, it’s one of those things that can really keep you up at night. It can really feel like you’re walking a path. In some ways it’s like eating a bowl of soup. Sometimes it’s too damn hot to so much put to your lips. So you just have to wait until it’s cool enough for you.
3. Sometimes you just can’t reconcile.
This is an important one to bear in mind. Forgiveness isn’t reconciliation. I’ve had people hurt me in the past that could be forgiven but definitely not be let back into my life. So it’s important to move on.
4. The hurt you’re feeling right now is from this moment in time, not the past.
If someone did something to hurt you two years ago, the hurt you felt two years ago was based on that incident. But the pain you’re feeling today is from this moment in time. It stems from things unsaid, from unresolved conflicts – so it’s important to be able to make amends with the past for a more pleasant future.
5. You’re able to give up your expectations of others.
Not forgiving someone is, in a way, like an expectation of the person you can’t forgive. It’s like you expect them to come crawling back to you one day, groveling, prostrate on the ground, begging for your forgiveness. But it’s not up to someone to seek out your forgiveness. It’s up to you to offer it.
6. You find that living your life how you want is revenge in itself.
It’s really the best thing you can do. Don’t think about your revenge, live your revenge by living a good life. Did you get dumped for being too big? Well, lose weight (IF YOU WANT), be what your ex partner wanted, and then don’t give him or her any of it. Boom, face, jerk.
7. You get to start a new chapter in your story.
Life has always felt like a book to me. There’s no definitive moment in time where one chapter ends and another begins, but you can really feel it. One major end of a chapter for me was when I was able to forgive someone who wronged me. I felt like I was on a fresh page. I could finally move on and do more awesome things to write down in that book.
8. Hating someone is like drinking a poison.
And expecting them to get sick. Once upon a time, I was cheated on by someone very close to me. In some ways, years later, it still haunts me. And when I found out, I felt hate. I felt such hate. But in a moment of clear, uninterrupted thinking, I resolved that hating someone is like drinking a poison and expecting them to get a stomach ache. I promised that I’d forgive, and I did. But I also allowed myself to feel the full range of emotion. Forgiveness came in time, though I do still consider that cheater to be kind of a butthead. See #3.
In the end though, how we feel and how we approach things is different for everyone. This was my journey. Hopefully it can help you with yours.