Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Going through life, there will come a time where you will endure hurt. This hurt may shape or mold the manner in which you react to being wronged. The interesting thing about hurt is that it reveals our innermost selves, in that the way we react to being hurt informs us of what lies deep within us. When hurt, you possess the power to decide whether you will walk in forgiveness, or choose to hoard the pain and let the bitterness dictate how you will react.
Like every situation in life, there are always two alternatives. It is thus up to the person on the receiving end to choose which of two reactions they will choose. Will they choose the path of bitterness, which can manifest itself in either anger, hatred, revenge or malice. Or, will they choose the path less traveled, to let go, and allow forgiveness to take center stage.
When speaking on forgiveness, I find that the most honest reaction is usually the person who is open to their unforgiveness, and will blatantly acknowledge being unforgiving. This is usually seen in their reaction, to the matter by opting to never speak to the aggressor again or taking action to communicate their unforgiveness.
What I have found to be truly difficult to uproot, is the unforgiveness that is clothed in forgiveness. A pretense that sells itself as forgiveness, while the heart still holds onto bitterness. Many people walk around holding on to the past, with bitterness and having convinced themselves they have truly forgiven.
Contrary, there are those who hold and understand the power of forgiveness.
3 Truths about forgiveness
1. Forgiveness can only be given, not taken
Forgiveness is something that every one of us holds the power to. No one can coerce it out of you, because it can only be given by free will. In that, lies the power, because it is something that would have to be given with free will. This would need to come from a place of openness, and truth. A true acknowledgment of the hurt caused and choosing to let the hurt go, and replacing it with peace.
When asked, how does one know you have truly forgiven? When you feel peace about the matter. When it no longer riles up feelings of resentment or bitterness, but that of peace.
2. Forgiveness unburdens you
When walking in unforgiveness, there is a conscious part of you that holds onto the wrong done unto you. There is an active part of you that fuels the feeling of resentment, and that requires energy. The energy exerted is negative energy, which depletes your energy reserves. Each time a memory is sparked that touches on the of place of unforgiveness, you have to borrow negative energy for it. This leaves one feeling exhausted.
I did not fully comprehend how unforgiveness weighs down on someone, till I found myself forgiving someone. There was an in-explainable relief, which had me feeling lighter. It is almost as though I was carrying around this chip on my shoulder, willingly, and simply needed my exertion of forgiveness to let go of it.
3. Forgiveness is the true test of character
When faced with two alternatives; giving forgiveness or retaining it, there is a true test of character. This is because you possess the power to give something, whether expected of you or not. Choosing to retain it, can be from a place of wanting to withhold freeing the person of their guilt, or wanting to use it as a reminder to yourself of all that has been done to you so as to not trust again. Sometimes, we use it as a defense mechanism, and end up holding people to a standard they do not deserve. Either way, it ends up hurting you. It is self-inflicted pain, because letting go may not be the easiest, but the most rewarding.
Forgiveness takes being the bigger person, excelling over your situation, and choosing the path of peace. It too is instrumental in allowing yourself to grow past what happened to you. Forgiving your past, whether those that hurt you or forgiving yourself for the decisions made that may not have been wise, is how you move forward.
You cannot live in the past while hoping to create a better future. You may learn from the mistakes you have made, you may take the lessons with you but leave the bitterness behind. Bitterness only stands to poison you and the future you stand to create.
PS: The person that came to mind when you were reading this, is who deserves your forgiveness the most. Allow yourself to grow, and let go.
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