Can you forgive someone who has hurt you so profoundly as to have caused deep-seated damage to your body, heart, mind, and soul? If so, what form would the forgiveness take? Does forgiving mean forgetting? How do you move on from the hurt and sorrow?
When you forgive someone, you forgive yourself. That may sound like a nice little catchy phrase but it’s true. Bearing a grudge against someone who has hurt you is not just about what they have done to you. It’s about what you have allowed to happen to you. Sometimes you can’t help what happens to you in a relationship because you’re just going along doing what you do. You don’t always know when someone is angry with you, resentful of you, jealous of you—unless they tell you. And often they don’t until there’s a breaking point, often a betrayal, and it all comes out.
Forgiving yourself is allowing that you didn’t know, didn’t understand, didn’t act in a way that could have short-circuited the conflict. When you forgive yourself you allow resentment and hurt to be replaced by healing. You are taking an action that will course-correct your life and well-being.
Forgiving gets you out of victim mode. Forgiveness breaks the bonds that tie you negatively to another person. You can forgive while not forgetting. What happened to you happened. There’s no denying that. And you should not try to pretend that everything is back to normal. It isn’t. You may forgive someone and never choose to see them again. That’s your choice after all is said and done. It’s a matter of whether or not you can ever trust that person or set of circumstances again.
No longer a victim, no longer controlled by negative energy, you can focus on becoming stronger, on establishing your own integrity, on building your own character so that you know yourself well enough to never allow yourself to be caught in a situation of terrible compromise and pain.
Forgiveness frees you. It allows you to take your power back. The energy and emotion you have so deeply invested in a certain person/situation is now free to be moved to someone/something that is positive for your growth and emotional, psychological, and physical health.
You are no longer chained to an entity that saps your energy and takes the life out of you. And freeing yourself may allow you to see this person/situation in a whole different light. Instead of focusing on all the negatives, forgiving may allow you to remember all of the positives that once were, and probably still are there.
Forgiveness helps your health. Negative emotions rob your energy and take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. Anger, anxiety, depression, and undue stress generate a negative influence on your body. These can cause elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and the feeling of being out of control.
The intensity can run the gamut, from mild discomfort to very intense physical reactions. Having someone you care about at odds with you is, at the very least, very uncomfortable. Most of us can relate to a feeling of relief when a weight is lifted from our shoulders. We breathe a sigh of relief.
Forgiving helps you move forward on your spiritual path. Forgiveness encourages compassion. You are able to relate to others as part of the human experience. You feel for others as you do for yourself. Emotionally and psychologically unencumbered, you can begin to put the past behind you. Forgiveness is an act of kindness and goodness. It is a path to peace.