We’ve all heard the sayings, the quotes, the bull shit. But what if someone really – I mean really – goes out of their way to say or do something that just rocks you to your very core?
Turn the other cheek and let them do it all over again? Forgive and forget – again and again until just hearing the person’s name is enough to send physical, shooting pains throughout your entire body?
And then feel like shit because you feel angry and sad and resentful, like there’s something wrong with you. Soon you can’t stand listening to yourself because all you do is gripe and complain.
You want to let it go. You don’t want to be angry. You don’t want to treat everyone around you badly. You want to get back to being you.
But then you see this person who seems oblivious as to what they’ve done or said. They act as if nothing ever happened so you know there won’t be an apology forthcoming. So you play the game hoping against hope they don’t do it again but knowing it’s just a matter of time.
Ah, what I wouldn’t give to be able to give you an easy answer. Some tired, old cliché that’s supposed to magically make all the bad feelings go away. But there is no easy answer.
And anyone who acts like forgiveness is easy has never been truly hurt.
Forgiveness is hard. It requires an effort. It requires sacrifice. It hurts.
So why is the forgiveness the greatest gift?
- Forgiveness is not a gift for the person who hurt us. Nope, they will most likely not learn from what they’ve done or even realize they’ve done anything so wrangling a half-hearted apology out of them is useless.
- Forgiveness is a process through which we can learn what is truly important. It’s through this process that we can learn what not to do or say to other people. We learn resiliency and how to laugh at ourselves.
- If we can forgive others we can forgive ourselves…
I’ve wasted so much time holding onto the anger and hatred and resentment. At least that’s what I used to think. Then I realized the process of forgiveness is only a waste if I don’t walk away from it with a better understanding of myself.
How much of my hurt feelings are because of me and don’t really have anything to do with the other person? Remember we’re all oblivious most of the time. How many times have I hurt someone saying or doing the exact same thing?
Forgiveness is not instantaneous. If it is then we probably weren’t hurt that badly in the first place or we haven’t truly forgiven anything.
So the next time you see the person who hurt you and you feel like you’re being stabbed in the eye or you want to stab them in the eye just remember that forgiveness doesn’t usually happen overnight.
We have to work on it. But it’s worth it. And it does get easier.
Never easy, but easier…
So do yourself a favor today and give yourself the gift of forgiveness.