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Busola Adedire: 4 Tips For Dealing with Unforgiveness

Busola Adedire

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I used to reserve a speech in my head for everyone who caused me some form of pain. Every now and then I would think about it, and sometimes I would cry. I remember I once wrote one of such ‘speeches’ out on a piece of paper which I later chucked away. When I think of demons, I think the one that lives inside of us is the most powerful. I tormented myself endlessly waiting for explanations and apologies,but my healing began the moment I wanted healing more than I wanted to breathe. I know of forgiveness because I am a Christian, but I did not know how to apply it in real life. It took me a health scare of severe emotional stress to put my life back in order.

Forgiveness is a lot; it is weighty, it is hard; yet, it is the strongest indicator of beauty and love. Though I am not a licenced therapist, I think my life experiences have qualified me as one who can speak on emotional healing.

The truth is you cannot enjoy life with unforgiveness and resentment in your heart. It does not matter whether you deserve the treatment you were given or not, you deserve peace. I remember someone asking Iyanla Vanzant ‘How do you forgive the UNFORGIVABLE?’ and she answered ‘Nothing is UNFORGIVABLE’. She was right! When you see life for what it is (brief and beautiful) you will understand that not every situation deserves your anger, and not everyone deserves your response. Your happiness and inner peace is 100 percent YOUR responsibility not somebody else’s so if you are struggling with forgiveness, here are four practical ways you can deal with it.

Admit It
You cannot change anything you are unwilling to confront, and this is the same for emotional pain. Repressing your emotions will have you dancing in circles and before you know it you will run into a brick wall (See my article on emotive repression). Your healing begins with embracing all the emotions associated with the situation i.e. anger, and sadness. Especially when it involves the people we love, we have to be careful not to abhor “faux forgiveness” which is insisting a wrongdoing is no big deal or that you’re over it when, in fact, you’re not. It does not matter how insignificant you think your feelings are, they only become healed through validation. It can be very hard to admit that someone you love and trust has wounded you but you have to learn to give your feelings a voice.

Move to the Decision Phase
A lot of people do not get to this stage as they are too preoccupied with denial. The decision phase is making a conscious decision to release bitterness and anger regardless of acknowledgement from the other party. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation; it does not mean subjecting yourself to unkind treatment, neither does it excuse the other party from taking responsibility for their behaviour.

Look at Things From a Different Perspective
I read one quote which changed my perspective on human relationships. It says ‘Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love, universal love, messy love, sweaty love, crazy love, broken love, whole love infused with divinity, lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty’. That changed everything for me.

People make mistakes and you cannot hold it against them for the rest of their lives. I also read it somewhere that events are in fact neutral. Our perception of events is what determines the meanings and responses we give them. This is an important principle. Stress is only a resistance created by our responses, by our need to control, justify or even understand an event. Learning not to judge events and situations is a great part of healing and forgiveness.

Reflect on the Situation
This is where you find your lessons. Perhaps, there are things you could have done differently, perhaps you needed to pay more attention to something, or perhaps the experience was intended for future use. I am certain that no life experience is wasted even if you don’t understand it. Your purpose in life is always connected to your deepest hurt.

Remember that the physical body falls apart because we emotionally fall apart. When we don’t care for the whole self, our physical body simply mirrors those effects. Over the course of time, emotions like unforgiveness, fear, anger and confusion does take a toll on the body.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Franz Pfluegl

17 Comments

  1. Ifemelu

    February 19, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I have been hurt by friends i love(d) and those i celebrated their success. When your heart is pure yet people hurt you, it is almost impossible to trust again. I still wonder how people can be so wicked, so forgetful, how you can bend over backwards for others but they will never lift a finger for you. At the end of it all, we only have ourselves and no one else. Yes, i even had the whole speech in my head but i don’t care anymore. I am almost thirty and for the first time in a very long time, i am living for me and striving for happiness. It is well.

  2. 'Oma

    February 19, 2015 at 9:52 am

    I get the part about not holding stuff against people you love.But what happens when you forgive the first, second and fourth time?You cant help but remind them about the trend.We all preach forgiveness and how its important in moving on, but we are human in the end.One can only take so much

  3. ijerinma

    February 19, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Thank You for the timely breakfast, i am learning to forgive and let go

  4. JJ

    February 19, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for this busola… Really helpful.

  5. Joy

    February 19, 2015 at 11:08 am

    It’s true that we’ve been hurt over and again by people we love like @Ifemelu typed. But I think Busola want us to consider that part where we concentrate on moving on and becoming better after the experience… I’ve often heard people say ‘… Forgive and Forget’; how are you supposed to forget though? The Bible only asks us to forgive so that we may also be forgiven, forgetting though comes from forgiveness..
    I have been hurt by someone and I remembered the offence only because the person who offended mentioned it after about 3years.

    The point is forgiving others means freeing yourself of the mental and emotional stress of holding on to the hurt. It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t learn from your mistakes, it just means now you know what to expect from such a person or group of persons.

    • anonymous

      February 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

      Yup, yup. Memory is what makes us.

    • chinny

      February 19, 2015 at 1:02 pm

      sometimes we move on too soon. a relationship is meant to teach us how to deal with each other’s flaws. probably if you had repeated what u just typed to that person things would not have played out the way it did… but hey, what do I know?

  6. RIFF RAFF

    February 19, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    There a

  7. oy

    February 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    muahhhh!!! thanks

  8. RIFF RAFF

    February 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    We can equally find ourselves in situations which are clearly beyond us as humans. There are times some situations are clearly too heavy for us to handle cos we are imperfect, limited human beings. No matter how hard we try, even with “the lessons we learn throughout the process”, even if we know we’re hurting ourselves by holding on to past grudges, forgiving seems impossible,no matter how hard we try. Whether it’s forgiving ourselves or the offender, forgiveness is one of the most difficult (yet one of the greatest) virtues to pratice.
    LET GO AND LET GOD. Once u assimilate this, u will gradually find peace within your storm , because u cast your fears to the ONE to whom nothing is impossible. And u do not feel alone anymore. That’s when your healing process starts. Mind u, it is not easy, the temptation to take every thing in your hands is more tempting than ever especially when u have your “down” days (and they will come). Be patient with yourself, we all evolve at our own pace, keep on trustfully casting everthing into God’s Hands no matter the contrary signs u see around u, even when things SEEM not to go your way; It is gradual. Will u forget your past hurts? not necessarily.But you will eventually come out of them beautiful with compassion cos it is not easy to deal with a broken heart. It is this newly acquired inner strength that will confirm to your heart that u’ve forgiven and moved on. Hope this helps.

  9. miss E

    February 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    This her makeup get as it be sha :/

  10. jennietobbie

    February 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I’m happy that I’ve been hurt, learnt the lesson, and have forgiven. Rem, some people you forgive and let go; others, you forgive and warmly welcome back.

    It’s life.

    #applywisdom.

  11. Kodili

    February 19, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    That quote ‘dear human…’ is deep and insightful. Thanks for sharing

    • Courtney A. Walsh

      February 20, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Glad you like it! I wrote that. Would love if the author of this blog would edit it to include: “quote by Courtney A. Walsh”

  12. Sisi

    February 19, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    This write up just solidifies my resolve to forgive and let go of the past however I’ll forgive you, love you and pray for you from a distance. I ain’t about to be fooled twice honey, nah

  13. kemi

    February 20, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Wow… this just broke dwn the mountain of unforgiveness iv bn struggling with for 5yrs

  14. Temitope

    February 21, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I have been deeply hurt by someone but as Bukola have said it..”moving on and becoming better after the experience”

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