To forgive someone of a hurt they have done to us is not an easy task. Fraught with many emotions – sadness, anger, fear, betrayal, loss – we are thrown into an existential place of trying to understand why it happened and how it has changed us. Sometimes, we deal with the effects of cumulative wrongdoings in a relationship that is unhealthy and we struggle to forgive those who continually act towards us in ways that are dismissive or unkind.
In either case, we bear the act of forgiveness. It is only ourselves that can truly find peace through the grace of being able to come to release the stone from our heart. Understanding that, is the first step in starting a journey of forgiveness to someone who has hurt us.
Perhaps the second greatest understanding is that in which we can give ourselves permission to forgive while also making decisions about where the relationship shall go. We can forgive and decide that although we hold peace in our hearts, we cannot have a relationship as it was with that person.
And the last of our understanding lies in knowing that thinking of the act that hurt us can still bring back feelings of betrayal and loss. The memories will remain, as will a resurgence of feelings. That does not mean we have not forgiven – it means simply that the triggered memory is tied to feelings; once we have recognized and processed them, we settle back into feeling peaceful.
Tomorrow’s post will look at the difference between forgiveness and redemption.
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Photo credit: http://Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash