Forgiveness is hard. You want to be angry, and the person you’re angry at deserves it. There’s no way to undo the damage they did, and you still feel the pain. So, why should you bother with forgiving them?
The biggest reason is that until you forgive, you mentally relive the damaging moment over and over. And as long as you’re doing that, you’re inflicting deeper damage.
You see, your mind can’t tell the difference between something that happens in real life and something you vividly imagine. It might have been someone else that hurt you the first time, but unless you forgive them and let go of what happened, YOU repeatedly inflict pain and prevent yourself from healing.
I know those words are hard to hear and accept, but they’re still true. Forgiveness isn’t about letting someone else go without punishment; it’s about loving you enough to learn to let go and make room for healing.
The other person will have to deal with what they did. And although it may not be comforting, at some point, they need to forgive themselves and move on, or they’re stuck reinforcing to themselves that they’re the kind of person who hurts others.
It Won’t Happen Overnight
You can immediately start the process of forgiveness, but for most people, it doesn’t happen on the first attempt. You need to replace your mental “movie” of what happened with the movie of your life once you’ve forgiven the person, healed, and are moving forward with life.
I’ll cover the details of how to forgive in the next blog. Until then, take a few moments and write down at least three ways that what you went through has given you an opportunity for growth.
Again, I know that it can be hard to let go. We hang on because we don’t want to be hurt again, but letting go is the only way we can stop hurting and start healing.