“You are stupid, you are an idiot, you know you can’t go anything right, you are useless.” Your father’s words kept coming to you as you sat in front of the laptop wanting to apply to the University of Manitoba. This is not the first time these words come to you; they creep into your head everytime you want to take bigger steps. They are there, staring right at you as your boss talks to you about handling a major project, and dare you to take it.
But that day, you made a decision not to let these words dictate who you should be. You looked into the mirror with a smile and said to yourself, “I’ve forgiven him, I forgive him, and I’ll continuously forgive him, so these words have no impact on me.”
Emotions are things we don’t get to deal with properly, as society lays more emphasis on forging ahead. This is a good thing, but moving on without forgiving those who have hurt, betrayed, broken our trust builds resentment. With unforgiveness, time doesn’t heal wounds.
Unforgiveness takes up a ton of mental space, and has you replaying what is going on over and over, breaking down every fibre of the unfairness. As we dwell on the current offence, we begin to think about previous negative encounters. We begin to feel caught and consumed by our own negative thoughts, incapable of moving away from them.
If you do not take your time to truly work on forgiving others, the outcome may become terrible. So what should you do?
Decide if you want to confront the offender or let go. Do you think that talking to that person would ease your pain? How do you want to present it? Will the person understand your point of view? If it’s not worth it, choose to move on.
Sometimes, the way out from this horrendous snare is to let go. But it is not always easy, so put your hand on your heart and, with gentleness, tell yourself, “I am battling to let go of this hurt, but I completely love and acknowledge myself the way I am.” This revolutionary self-acknowledgement will start your healing process. Sometimes, we feel guilty when we find it hard to forgive others but this will help you acknowledge that you are human, and you’ll love yourself, come what may. If you are not gentle with yourself, your spirit will continually be burdened by the hurt you feel.
A time-tested way to let go is to write your offender a letter that you do not intend to send. Do this with the intention of destroying it and letting go of its content.
If you choose to confront the person, you must remember that the person may never recognize or acknowledge what they’ve done wrong. Some people are even manipulative and will try to make you look like the bad guy. So what do you do in this case? Avoid confrontations for your own peace of mind. Tell the person what they have done wrong and if they get agitated or try to be defensive, walk away. This way, you do not say things you may end up regretting, or actions you will be ashamed of in future. You will also have peace of mind knowing that you stood up for yourself and said your piece.
You can cry, I did and it worked for me – thanks to my ever-patient coach who told me to.
Forgiveness is the key out of the emotional and mental prison. I was in this situation but I chose to forgive; I decided to untie myself from the shackles that connected me to the violator. This decision has enabled me to begin the road to recovery. I’ve come to learn that forgiveness is a lifelong process. Like love, forgiveness is a decision we make each day. This doesn’t mean you should be a pushover, or accept every wrong people do to you. It simply means you should know when to fight for yourself and when to let go and move on.
So whenever I look in the mirror, I do not see the idiot nor stupid girl I was constantly called, I see a strong woman rising up to whatever challenge the world brings to her, I also see a woman who has learned to let go and forge ahead.
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