I’m sure you’ve heard before that it is healthy to forgive in order to move forward in life. Holding a grudge wastes a lot of energy, it’s emotionally draining. I used to be a champ at holding a grudge. I didn’t realize that by holding a grudge, I was feeding that grudge, which in turn was eating away at my soul…..
The part of the forgiveness that I’ve struggled with is, letting go. It was difficult for me, especially in my teenage years. I felt if I let go, then I would be forgetting what was done to me, and why it hurt me…..in a way, I held on in defence. I was very, very wrong. You can forgive, but you don’t have to forget, and you don’t have to dwell or hold a grudge either. I wish I would’ve exercised this earlier on in my life. I wasted years being angry inside that anger was affecting me in various ways, it was stifling me…..
Years ago I watched a TV program where a family of a relative who was a murder victim of a senseless act of violence, publicly forgave the criminal convicted of taking the life of their loved one. A mother who lost her son due to a robbery that turned violent, chose to confront and speak to the convicted young man doing life in prison. I found this compelling. Listening to the mother stirred up all types of thoughts and emotions in me. Her words struck a chord in me. I couldn’t imagine speaking face to face with the one who took my loved one, and forgiving them face to face for that matter…..
I will never forget that program because it showed me another level of forgiveness that I had never thought about. It caused me to question myself on why I still had issues with releasing the last traces of anger left in me so I could at least speak to a person, to tell them, “I forgive you.” Forgiving a person who you know, who is close to you, can be difficult to do because seeing their face on a daily basis can be a constant reminder of disappointment. It would be impossible to completely forget what was done to you. The memory may never leave you. That being said, drawing up a new set of boundaries, and maintaining them, will help you move forward. Forgiving a person does not guarantee they will appreciate your forgiveness or even treat you better. Boundaries protect you from any further damage or disappointment. I will forgive and proceed with caution…..
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