The art of forgiveness
How to let go of hurt and resentment
Back to see me again? Glad you made it over this way, what would you like to talk about today? Forgiveness? Ok, let’s do this.
Why is forgiveness important for growth, it’s important because when we feel we have been done wrong, we hold ill, negative feelings towards the person that caused it. Then, most often, we force these feelings on others. We make others pay for the way someone made us feel. Lack of forgiveness shows itself in the insecurities we spoke of yesterday. Let’s go back to love for a minute. I used the example that we always worry about what if’s it keeps us from enjoying the present. I used the example if a man cheats on his we’ll say wife. Let’s name the man John and the woman Erica. So every time John wanted to go out with his boys, Erica would question John prior. She would ask where he was going, who he was going with, when he would be home...Erica was insecure that John would cheat on her so she gave him a set of rules or guidelines to go by. You better call me or when I call you better pick up otherwise I know you’re with another woman. John began to feel so insecure it what he was “allowed” to do when he was out that eventually he began to feel smothered. He had no intention on cheating on Erica and he asked to back off, he tried showing his love for her, but nothing worked. Eventually John was tired of this treatment and he eventually said “well damn, I’m going to get accused of cheating so maybe I will.” He became rebellious and reckless in his actions and he found himself sleeping with another woman. Now to keep this story from going in too many directions, we’ll say that John’s conscience got the best of him and he came right out and told Erica the truth. Now her worst fears have been confirmed, John cheated on her. So what? What’s next? He slept with another woman, the world will not end. Now, I am not condoning cheating or encouraging it, my point is simply, you have the choice to leave or to completely forgive. So let’s just say Erica loved John so much and because they were married for 25 years now, she just couldn’t give up on their love. Ok, great, so how does she begin to forgive?
Forgiveness is an action. Why do I say it’s an action. You have to make a conscience effort to get to the core or route of the issue that is causing that pain and suffering and begin to heal from there. It is something that you have to work toward and through. A lot of times, “I forgive you” easily pops out of our mouths without learning how to let go of resentment and grudges. Instead of speaking carelessly, speak deliberately. It’s much easier to harm someone with words than actions, that’s why it’s easier to heal someone with actions versus words. If words hurt them, actions will save them. If someone’s actions hurt them then words will be more meaningful. Checks and balances. So we supposedly forgive people without going through the process of forgiving.
When you speak the words, “I forgive you” ensure you have done the proper work in accordance to suit the meaning of the words. So how do you work through the pain and begin to forgive someone without holding it over their head? You need to ask yourself what you need in order to begin healing. Does Erica need space to process this or is this something she can work through between the two of them? Do they need a counselor? Let’s speak on some of the major draw backs to each.
Space? How much space, how long, what will this accomplish, what’s the end game, are any interactions allowed during this time, what are you doing to work towards resolution during this period? Those are things you should consider before speaking of separation, remember, that person lived without you before as did you; and you will both be able to go on without each other again. So before you add another insecurity into the relationship, make sure you have truly considered it before you blurt it out and make sure you speak about boundaries. Can you guys date? Otherwise, you are only teaching that person to live without you again.
So, since Erica and John live together and are married there is a lot to consider. But if Erica chooses to work through this with just her and her husband what happens? Erica is resentful of John, she doesn’t trust him when he goes out, they constantly fight and John feels the exact way he did when he cheated on Erica. Erica feels the same way before John decided to cheat but now it’s magnified because she knows he’s cheated before, what’s to stop him again? There you go. She doesn’t trust him (for good reason) so she hasn’t fully forgiven him. It’s hard for her seeing him everyday and he pretends nothing has happened, and this further enrages her. They begin to argue more. That’s because they are not actively working to be forgiven or to forgive. They believe time will heal but the lack of communication doesn’t allow for healing. They don’t address what caused John to cheat in his eyes (so he can’t fix that trigger) and Erica can’t change her insecurities because she doesn’t recognize them. Again, I am not placing blame on Erica, and her nagging does not give the right for John to nag but this is hypothetical here and I can’t go into everything on this blog. Her insecurities were placed on John which in return made John insecure. When John began to feel something other than his character he was confused and felt suppressed. He didn’t like feeling angry all the time so he wouldn’t treat Erica the way she needed to be treated to feel secure. There’s her side, his side, and somewhere in the middle is the truth.
They can choose to go to a counselor for that very reason. They can speak to a counselor that is unbiased and helps them both see the error in their ways and to productively work through it. The counselor can help them with their verbiage and body language and help them connect the dots. Turns out Erica never felt insecure in the relationship, she was just carrying around old baggage from a prior relationship. John realized that he was being triggered by her nagging which sent him back to his childhood. His mother used to nag and beat him and kick him out of the house. That type of behavior makes him feel unloved and unwanted and he becomes rebellious. Now, instead of throwing away something that was so beautiful that they once believed in, they had an even stronger relationship because they built the foundation. For every action there is a reaction, so people mirror the image that is placed in front of them.
Funny how the past always comes back. Last night I was messaged by an old friend. This gentleman, I hadn’t spoken to since junior high. He had done something to me that he felt the need to apologize for. Now, I hadn’t spoken to him since I was 14/15 years old and I’m 38 now, you do the math. Anyway, he apologized for this specific incident. I knew exactly what he was talking about because it turns out it was a major part in a huge turning point in my childhood. This incident though, off and on I would think about it over the years. I didn’t hold any bad feelings towards him because I just assumed it was something boys do. I had learned to forgive and move on, and I assumed I would never hear from him again. Last night he apologized for what he had done. I believed he was sincere because so many years later he had thought about it as well. I truly appreciated him making amends. You never know who or how you are affecting someone, and that could be the last person you meet in Heaven. (Read earlier blog, The 5 People You Meet in Heaven).
Just food for thought, glad we were able to have this talk. Till next time, keep Insulting Standards by Becoming the Change. To watch the video: https://youtu.be/3fNBh7EiPJs