Forgiveness is for you as much as it is for them.
I’m sure we’ve all heard this as well as many other quotes and sayings surrounding the importance of forgiveness. The thing is no one tells you how hard it can be to come to a place of true forgiveness. Offering forgiveness to those who wrong us is the right thing to do but getting there – that can be easier said than done.
It hasn’t been until recently that I truly had to put these words into action in my own life. I had to find the strength to get beyond the hurt and move forward into the healing that was in giving the forgiveness that may not have even been asked for. I had to learn to stop being the victim of my perceived wrong doing and instead take control of how I reacted to my situations.
Sometimes we have to forgive people who don’t deserve it even deny having done anything at all. There are times when our hurt is more a matter of perception of someone’s actions than intent on their part. I have been on the other side when someone was hurt by something I said or did when my intent was far from hurt and may have been a simple lack of judgment or forethought.
So how do you forgive a person who doesn’t say sorry? How do you find healing from the emotional wounds that may be present when the one thing that helps start that process is never offered?
These were the questions that ran through my mind over and over as I tried to move beyond my own hurt, forgive and forget – forgive them to find my happiness and forget the pain. How could I forget something that had never been resolved? How could I forgive what had never been acknowledged?
Here’s when I had to look within. The pain was turning into anger. Anger is dangerous because it can eat away at your happiness in other areas of your life. Here is where I prayed. Then I prayed some more. I cried. Then I cried some more. I felt wronged, I felt hurt, I felt everything. Yet staying there – in that place – was not helping. It was doing more harm than good and I needed to find a way through it. I had to move to the other side of the hurt. How could I let these feelings go and replace them with forgiveness for the person I felt caused them? How could I heal the wounds I felt had been inflicted?
Wounds. Normally a description left to a physical hurt but are the wounds to our heart any less painful? I started to really think about wounds and what they are in both sense of the word. I mean when someone hurts you it leaves a wound in your spirit. A place of damage and hurt. A change in your healthy place. Emotionally that situation becomes a source of pain and finding the healing is much like healing a wound.
Most times when we want to heal a wound we apply a salve to help speed the process up. To take away the pain and help return you to normal. Yet it isn’t needed. The body has it’s own healing agents and with a bit of extra time has the ability to heal itself with or without a salve. The spirit can be the same. It can heal on it’s own.
I began to realize that although an apology would be soothing to me and in my mind help me to heal better it isn’t always necessary. I can heal myself…through forgiveness. Through the simple act of letting go of the pain, making the choice to release my anger at being hurt and offering the person I blame the forgiveness they haven’t asked for I can heal my wound without them and at times in spite of them.
This idea may seem light to some but for me this was the key to unlocking my healing. Letting go of the need to hear an apology and realizing if they never uttered the words ‘I’m Sorry’ forgiving them was still what’s best for me.
How do you find your way to forgiveness?
Does it come easy or is it a process?