Forgiveness is tricky.
Forgiveness isn’t about excusing someone’s behavior. It isn’t allowing someone to get away with a wrong they have done. It isn’t an easy religious belief that comes with being a Christian. Forgiveness is personal. It’s allowing your mind and body to be in a place to begin healing. Forgiveness comes when YOU are ready.
I’m not going to tell you who to forgive or when you should forgive them. That’s your decision, which comes on your time at your pace. I will say that despite what others may tell you, or even what you may have told yourself in the past, forgiveness is not a sign of weakness. It is strength. It’s something only you can pull from deep inside of you. It comes with acceptance, accountability, and perseverance. Forgiveness is intimate and situational. It’s something only you can decide on. No one can tell you to forgive an absent parent or a friend who betrayed your trust. No one can tell you to forgive a selfish family member. No one can tell you to forgive your husband’s infidelities or an abusive ex-boyfriend. Some things really are unforgivable, but that’s for you, and only you, to decide.
There was a time in my life that forgiveness seemed to be covered in fog and lost hope.
Forgiveness seemed too easy and I truly resented the word. I was in a dark place of hate and anger. Forgiveness was the punchline of a terrible joke that I couldn’t bring myself to laugh at. It was the first time in my life that forgiveness was the one thing standing in my way from happiness and moving on. I was hung up on hurt and embarrassment. I could barely swallow the pain much less begin to forgive. Then on a random sunny day, while I was driving in my car, something overcame me. It was a form of understanding and vulnerability. The pain slowly subsided and I was finally able to reflect on the situation open-heartedly. Forgiveness didn’t happen overnight, but that was definitely a turning point. I’m still not sure what was said, seen, or heard that day. Whatever it was, it truly opened my senses and allowed me to reflect. Once I was able to understand my own pain and why I felt the way I did, I was able to transition to forgiving and healing.
When you are ready to forgive someone, embrace it.
Forgiveness is moving forward. This is your mind, your heart, your body, your life, and YOUR WILL TO FORGIVE. Forgiveness is peace, but peace is also not something you can rush. Don’t force yourself to forgive someone else in hopes that will heal your broken heart. Let forgiveness come naturally to you. You know the degree of hurt someone has caused you and how much you’re willing to forgive and release. Just know, when you are ready to forgive, embrace it. Peace and freedom will follow.