How do you forgive someone who has hurt you? Who has made you cry? Who has damaged you in some way that you feel is beyond repair? Who isn’t sorry?
This is a question that many of us ask ourselves on a daily basis. It’s a struggle because of our need for validation as humans. We want the apology. We want the satisfaction of the moment someone realizes they’ve wrong us. We want to feel vindicated. Sometimes we get the apology, most of the time we don’t.
For years, I’ve felt that a particular family member has owed me an apology. I was accused of something I would never do, verbally attacked multiple times and even cursed (attempted anyway – my God doesn’t work that way.) Every time I feel like I’m over it, something reminds me that I still have residual feelings from this situation.
I am a Christian, so I am fully aware of how important forgiveness is. I think that’s what frustrates me so much with this situation. It’s been a revolving door since I can remember and up until 3 years ago, I was willing to try and mend this relationship. No matter how much I hurt or got upset, I wanted this family dynamic to be better. One particular incident took all the fight out of me and I just wanted these toxic people out of my life.
I love them dearly, but the unforgiveness in my heart makes me guilty. My reaction to the fictitious me they’ve created is the only thing I can control. I blocked them on social media for emotional protection, but since we have mutual friends, I still see some of their activity from time to time.
And that’s when I realized I wasn’t over it at all. Whenever I would see them, I’d feel that little twist of anger in the pit of my stomach, roll my eyes and keep scrolling. Conviction came quickly after. That wasn’t very forgiving, was it?
Why should I have to be the bigger person. Why do I have to forgive and accept an apology I’ll probably never get?
For me. I have to forgive for me.
I’ve talked about the Glow Fellowship I’m apart of before. I posed this question to them and got the same answer I always get, but this time it really sank in.
God forgives me for everything I do wrong. He loves me that much to accept my apology and still bless me…but what am I keeping Him from blessing me with? What can’t He put in my hands because they’re full of unforgiveness?
Can you imagine, God trying to put your heart’s desire in your hands but He can’t…because you’re holding on to something you don’t even want?
I can envision this scene in my head and it honestly makes me sick to my stomach. I’m not even thinking about materialistic blessings. Peace was the first thing that came to mind. I could be missing out on peace because of this!
I began to think of other things that would manifest in my life once I let this hurt and anger go. That was the key. Everything I want God to do through me and for me could be on the other side of this forgiveness. It was time.
I began to earnestly pray for them. Even if just praying for them to have a good day. I had to start small and completely mean it. The more you exercise this muscle, the stronger it will be. Don’t think about what they’ve done…just focus on letting those feelings go.
There are benefits of forgiving someone that have absolutely nothing to do with them. Unforgiveness can manifest some ugly things in your life, even physical sickness.
Here are some benefits of forgiveness that have absolutely nothing to do with the other person or persons.
Healing (physically and emotionally)
Open mindedness for more important things
Healthier future relationships with others
A stronger immune system
Less anxiety and stress
See how these benefits have nothing to do with the other person? They are all. about. you. So go ahead…be selfish. Forgive those who have hurt you, even when they don’t ask for it. It’s not for them anyway.
Happy recovery, loves!