“Forgiveness is taking the knife out of your own back and not using it to hurt anyone else”
When I love, I love fully. Whole heartedly. Unconditionally. Either I love and trust someone 100% or not at all. I used to live under the theory that if someone I opened up to broke my trust and hurt me, they do not deserve any of me. I was very wrong in thinking this, because forgiving does not have to mean trusting to the same extent again and in all honesty, how else would relationships be built?
“Nobody gets a second chance to make new old friends”
– Luke Bryan
There are some awful people out there. Truly awful. Backstabbers, bullies, cheaters, liars, the list goes on. I have asked myself countless times what the “right thing to do” is. Of course we hear “forgive them, so you can have peace of mind and move on”, but then we think well what if they do the same to someone else? Is that REALLY the right thing to do?
I want to be very clear in this post that I am in no way suggesting we trust someone a second, third, or fourth time. You are not required to hand out a second bullet to the person who missed the first time.
To stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake.
As we can see in the definition of forgiveness, it is to “stop feeling angry”. Allowing your heart to stop feeling the anger, the pain. Opening up to speaking to them about what hurt you.
In this post, I’d like to share my thoughts on why forgiving is not only helping out ourselves in having peace of mind, but also helping the one who hurt you.
Why on earth should we forgive?
1. To allow them the gift of self-improvement
You’re probably thinking “if he had it in him to cheat on me, why should I reward him with my forgiveness?”
Firstly, because you are the bigger person. Right?
Think of one time in your life you have hurt someone-directly or indirectly. Was it intentional?
I have no doubt that when a healthy individual realizes their mistake, they feel pain to some degree. You did feel pain, didn’t you?
If it was not communicated to you that it was incorrect to hurt someone, you would not have known. When someone does wrong to you, it will be its own pain to realize they have hurt someone. Communicate this, and let the both of you move on. Rather than punishing them with holding a grudge, communicate. Forgiving someone does not mean forgetting. It does not have to mean trusting them again. It simply means them acknowledging their mistake and not doing it again to a different person. Be the bigger person, and grant someone the gift of honesty and the gift of learning. Allow them to improve.
Why do people go to prison when they hurt someone?
Why do we lose the friendship of the ones we betray?
Why do meat-eaters run the risk of getting cancer or heart disease?
These are all in one way or another, consequences for actions.
When we hurt someone, the justice system is there to hold us accountable for our mistakes. When we inflict pain upon an animal, our bodies are literally programmed to hurt us back. This is Karma.
Let them off the hook and trust that Karma won’t.
I have always been a firm believer of Karma. If one does wrong, the same will come back to them, even worse. If one behaves as a good person, good will return, whether one likes it or not. For this reason, I believe we, as humans must practice self-control for anger-generating situations. If one does you wrong, choose to believe that worse will come back to them. It is not your responsibility to cause them harm. Revenge is for the weak. Forgiveness is for the strong.
Do not let your anger take over, only for you to suffer the consequences.
I have been in an abusive relationship. There was an insane amount of screaming, crying, and hitting. I knew in my heart that I must forgive. Three years later, this person was cheated on by a person he loved deeply. I knew immediately that this was my girl, Karma helping me out. She’s got your back too, even if you’d prefer she didn’t.
I am not suggesting we should wish badly upon others, as a matter of fact, it is physically and spiritually impossible to “curse” another individual. What I am saying is to find peace on your own, and trust that if one deserves a “punishment”, it will come back on its own.
3. For you.
I truly believe that if an average, healthy person harms another individual it is in one way or another driven by anger.
Anger is such a horrible emotion. Unlike other emotions, it often people to inflicting pain upon others intentionally. To doing things they regret. To being aggressive, arrogant, and mean. It is, in my opinion, the worst emotion that exists.
There have been very few times in my life where I have truly felt anger. Over the course of my 21 years, I have been extremely fortunate to have had a childhood with amazing parents who did not drive me to be angry enough to portray. In my teenage years, I had struggled with depression, anxiety and a nasty eating disorder, so I was mostly hidden in my room. I’ve been extremely fortunate. I have however felt it before, and I do see the meaning behind “you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re tested”. This quote scares me because I really don’t. Which is why I choose to practice self-awareness, patience and forgive immediately. I would prefer Karma didn’t come back to bite me aswell.
I believe it is our responsibility as members on this precious planet of ours to play our part, and forgive. No one is asking us to forget, but forgiveness is crucial.
If one has it in them to cause harm to another individual, I believe it is because they lack love. Let’s offer them love. Forgiveness is a form of love.
Stay patient, and compassionate,