Forgiveness is a concept that many times is widely misunderstood. When people think of forgiveness, they often think of having been wronged and perceive forgiveness as having to completely disregard the perpetrators who’ve harmed them and the pain they’ve inflicted. I don’t view forgiveness this way.
When I think of forgiveness, I think of letting go of all the angst, fear and anger that a victim holds against perpetrators who have wronged them. I don’t view forgiveness as forgetting. I view it as having empathy towards oneself.
When we hold grudges we aren’t hurting anyone but ourselves. Those who have wronged us aren’t affected by our emotions unless we take it upon ourselves to harm them back. (Which obviously is not a good idea).
The only person who is affected negatively by unforgiveness is the person who is not willing to forgive. Why? Because unforgiveness allows bitterness to become a large part of a person’s life and views. Also because unforgiveness causes disease within the victim. Stress is a factor in cancer, heart problems and a myriad of other health issues. Not to mention the negative effects of stress on attitude and daily habits. Many stressed out people have depression, anxiety and OCD just to name a few issues. I know this first hand because I held unforgiveness inside of me far too long regarding things that happened in my childhood.
When we live in anger, we perpetrate more hardship on ourselves because of bitter attitudes and aggressive tendencies. It’s not a fun way to live. It’s more like surviving under threat than living in peace and happiness. Nobody deserves to have a life like that. We all deserve to be happy. And in order to be happy many times we must change our mindsets. And that includes being willing to let go of anger and angst towards those who’ve wronged us. We can remember and not allow ourselves to be around those people any longer but it is definitely in our best interest to forgive and move on.
Sometimes it seems crazy to forgive. Like me trying to come to the conclusion that I was going to forgive my perpetrators who molested me. Did I want to forgive? No. Because I thought that it meant I had to be okay with what happened and even be willing to go around those people again. When I realized that forgiveness was remembering from a peaceful standpoint and not allowing myself or my children to be around those people I was much more willing to give it a try. Forgiveness is a process. It may take years to completely let go and move forward but it is possible even in extreme situations.
This is a topic that I talk about in my books. I’ve had a lot of forgiving to do and I’m getting better at it with practice. Once I realized I was only hurting myself I knew I had to let go and move on. Because I knew I deserved better. So do you. Everyone deserves happiness and peace. It takes a mindset of wisdom and understanding but it is so worthwhile that even if it takes years it’s a journey that you should deeply consider.
Once you value yourself enough to seek love and good out of life you’ll attract more love and good to yourself because you know you deserve it. What a great way to move forward, don’t you think?