In honor of the new year, I thought it would be a good time to write a post about forgiveness.
We’re all making our list of resolutions and a really common one is “let go of grudges” and to “move on.” But, that is much easier said than done. Here is my steps I take to give forgiveness not only to others, but to myself too.
Forgiving ≠ Forgetting –
This is so commonly said when it comes to forgiving, but it’s so true and needs to be said again. I feel like we always think that if we forgive we have to forget, and if we don’t we have fully forgiven. I don’t know about you, but I think this is 100% wrong. Forgiving is putting the past in the past and moving on. It doesn’t mean you erase your memory. And just because you’re not forgetting doesn’t mean that your relationship with ‘said person’ you forgave can’t go on. So many times relationships can rise from the ashes and be rebuilt even bigger and better than they were before. Sometimes forgiveness comes first and forgetting later. Sometimes forgiveness comes first and forgetting comes never, and that’s okay too.
You Don’t Always Get An Apology –
This is something I used to battle with a lot. Whenever I was hurt by someone and they didn’t apologize, I’d always think “Don’t you see you’ve hurt me?” But, the truth is sometimes people don’t know they have or do and refuse to do anything about it. People usually recognize their sins at some time in their lives, but that doesn’t mean that we need to wait for them to in order to forgive. It may take them 15 years (or a lifetime) to see their wrongdoing, and in the mean time you’re wasting your days waiting for their repentance. Sometimes we have to forgive without an apology. No, it’s not ideal and yes it hurts, but I promise that forgiveness can break so many chains whether you’re in the right or wrong.
Just Like Everything Else, It Takes Time –
Ever heard the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day?” Well, it applies here too. Forgiving someone is only the first step among many. Especially if this situation was a big hindrance on your relationship. Take things slow! If someone forgave you, don’t expect things to go back to the way they were before right away. Show the person you’re truly sorry by changing your actions and improving yourself more, but don’t feel bad if they’re not super receptive at first. Time truly heals most wounds, we just have to be patient.
It’s A Choice –
Just like so many things in life, forgiveness is a choice. You don’t have to forgive someone if you don’t want to. But, if you’ve chosen to give or receive forgiveness, that’s amazing! Since you’ve chosen it, you have to pursue it, accept it, and work at it. You chose it for a reason only you know. You’re not required to forgive someone even if they’ve apologized. So if you’ve accepted an apology, remember that it wasn’t required and work towards letting go of all your anger and resent.
Forgive Yourself –
When we hear the word forgive we think about others and what they’ve done. But, let’s think about you for a minute. What have you done wrong? What is something you did that made you so mad at yourself? Have you fully moved on or are you still plagued with guilt? It’s so easy to beat ourselves up because we’re with ourselves 24/7. But the same forgiveness you can give to someone who hurt you, you can grant to yourself. Sometimes this is the most freeing forgiveness you’ll ever encounter. I believe that in order to forgive others we have to forgive our own trespasses first; that’s where the healing truly begins.
I know this post may seem a bit deep for some, but that’s what I love about blogging. I can share topics deep and shallow with you guys and we can converse about them. Life shouldn’t be serious all the time, but some times it needs to be. Feel free to share your own insight on this subject in the comments below. I always love hearing what you guys have to say! ❤
Thoughts on this post?
Do you tend to forgive and forget easily?