Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Forgiveness


When you see the word forgiveness, what comes to mind? What feelings does it invoke?

For a good portion of my life, people who didn’t deserve my forgiveness came to mind. My brain started firing like a machine gun and my chest got tight. Why should I just forgive someone who wronged me? They should have to pay in some way. It should be something I can hang over their head, possibly for eternity. 

Every time I thought about the situation, my chest would begin to agitate like a washing machine. Back and forth between negativity and rage and sadness and then the spin cycle wrung me out and I was just washed out. It was a lot of work churning up all that negativity.
I used to think being forgiving showed weakness. Then I got my head out of my ass and realized the opposite is true – weak people hold on to their hurts and pride themselves on not forgiving. They make their hurts a part of them and blame their hurts for what's wrong in their lives. Weak people give their hurts all the power. It takes a strong person to be knocked down, to stand up again and not allow negativity to claim their lives. It takes a strong person to forgive. 

Forgiveness is not about absolution. You are not telling someone it's okay to mistreat you. Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace. Forgiveness has nothing to do with anyone besides you
When you don’t forgive, you carry the hurt. You grow bitter, resentful, and oversensitive. And when you've been fucked by life in general or are a victim of circumstance, what then? How do you get over it without forgiving it? There’s a reason being happy is infinitely easier than being locked in battle with yourself or someone else. Negative emotions take an incredible amount of energy to hold aloft. In order to hold a grudge, you have to keep bringing yourself down to a place of pain. 
When you do that, there’s no room for anything good and you're too tired to make good happen. You can’t grow as a person because you’re holding yourself back and living in the past.  In addition to being hurt, you’re stunting yourself. Not too smart, is it? 
I’d rather acknowledge that someone hurt me, accept it, say I forgive it and let it go. I’m not giving it any more space in my brain or my heart. I'm taking back the power. I choose what to expend my energy on, and it’s not going to be spent on bullshit or picking at old scabs. I won't hang on to or blame the past. I will own my present and make my future. I won't be a victim. I will be a fucking warrior. 

Sometimes while forgiving people I realize it’s not healthy for them to be in my life anymore so I give them the boot. Forgiving does not mean forgetting in some cases, and while people deserve a lot of chances, I don't think that number is limitless. However, more often forgiving someone leads to a better relationship between us. Everyone makes mistakes and hurts people they love, intentionally and unintentionally as well. If you’d want forgiveness from someone, you need to be someone who gives it to others. We all need mercy and we all need to show mercy at times. 

If you're holding on to old hurts right now, throw a private forgiveness party and kick that shit to the curb toot sweet. And the next time you come up against something painful, don’t hold on to it like it's a badge of honor. Process it as quickly as you can and move towards the positive. Don’t give someone else’s actions the power to dictate how you feel about yourself or how you live your life. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness. Take a deep breath and reclaim your power. 

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Linking up with
Because Shanna Said So - Random Wednesday


28 comments:

  1. Love this post! Preach it girl! I saw a quote awhile back that has really stuck with me, "Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace." Sometimes it is so hard to let go and forgive, I am still working on this. There is no truer statement than do it for you!

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  2. I totally agree...forgiving does not always mean forgetting. Just because you've forgiven someone, there may still be a consequence, such as not being able to be a part of your life anymore.

    I really like that quote about having hands full of yesterday's junk. Going through life holding on to those things is unhealthy and will only end up making you miserable.

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  3. Really good post Steph! Must re-read and bookmark for future reference.

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  4. Resentment causes wrinkles. People who know how to forgive are prettier!

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  5. If I can't forgive, I at least try to move on and move past. People who piss me off aren't worth head space. Forgiveness is way better, obviously, but ignoring the problem has its merits, too.

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  6. This is just perfect and so true. I say the same about anger and any negativity. There is enough of that in this universe. Whenever I feel
    negativity coming on, I try to immediately send light and positive energy to the person or the situation. I never wish bad on anyone or anything.
    What you put out is what you get back! Keep sending out light. #BEALIGHTWORKER
    Love you to infinity and beyond.
    Your MOMMA

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  7. Once I learned that lesson (which I did NOT learn easily!) my life became so much sweeter and I realized how blessed I am. I wish all my loved ones could let go so they could also find this peace!

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  8. lady, this is an awesome post and i agree 100%. those who hold on to years-long grudges? GET OVER IT, GET OVER YOURSELF and move on because as they say, LIFE GOES ON.

    you can choose to live a life of anger and resentment which will ultimately suck out all the happiness in your life, or you can choose to forgive, forget and MOVE ON to happier things. i prefer the latter.

    a couple of weeks ago, a friend who is a notorious bailer just started being rude and not even showing up to our runs. no text, no nothing. not the first time either. man was i pissed. the old me would've thought: this is important to me so she should have the decency to text blahblahblah. yes i was mad for a bit but then i realized that i don't have to let her screw with my schedule so i just stopped inviting her. and i also forgave her for it. f she wants to come, she knows what time to meet and where. this way, i'm not putting either of us in a position to get angry. so much better!

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

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  9. Some infractions are easier to forgive than others. Failure to forgive isn't always not wanting to forgive - sometimes it's realizing that you just have to live and let go. Which was a hard lesson for me, that I still have to relearn on occasion.

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  10. Such a great post! I always find that I've truly forgiven someone when I can be happy for them, without wanting to look at them with daggers in my eyes :) And it always feels so good to be there. Because, like you said I have the power back in the situation at that point.

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  11. Words of wisdom girl! So true. It takes so much energy to stay angry.

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  12. I forgive people, but I definitely remember it forever, and most times, they're just cut out. It's not worth my time!

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  13. I just happened to come across your blog and I absolutely love it...it's like I was meant to find it and I'm so glad I did.

    You have said it so perfectly...I've learned to forgive not for the person but for me...it's helped me move on and become a bigger and better person.

    So glad I found this.

    Suzanne

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  14. Ahhh, love this. Every word rings true.Holding grudges is exhausting.

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  15. Great post!! Forgiveness is a huge sign of strength, not weakness. It doesn't take much strength to hold onto a grudge - it's a lot harder to choose to forgive someone who has really hurt you!

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  16. AMEN! I love how you said that it was about you - not them. You want to move on and be better not bitter. I hope nothing in particular spurred this post! I'm not sure if Gus forgives...

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  17. LOVE this! It's easier said than done to forgive. However, I used to hold onto stuff for years and years and years. Granted those people had no place in my life before or after, but it still hurt. Now, about 10 years later... I've forgiven them but I haven't forgot. Chances are, they aren't the same person they were now as back then. Even if they are, oh well. Most importantly... I no longer hold that stuff in. Sadly, I haven't forgotten their words (of many people) and never will. The good thing is though they are forgiven.

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  18. i will agree that it's really hard for me to forgive. i hold on to silly grudges and make myself angry over things from the past. so really, it's only doing a diservice to myself. I need to learn to let go. it's a tough one.

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  19. One of your best points is "forgiving does not mean forgetting in some cases," and sometimes it's hard to differentiate between the two.

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  20. You know I already told you what I thought about this post!!! Dead one and one that every single person, male or female should read. Like I wanna print it and post it on my bathroom mirror. I know you put a ton of heart and thought into this. :) Forgiveness has never been a good trait for me...forgiving others or myself.

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  21. This is so true and so well written! What a great reminder of how every thought is a choice. Thank you for the reminder to forgive and let go.

    p.s. I miss you! Come see me and we'll have a smoothie (or juice) and catch up :.)

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    1. Thanks Kel! I need to make my way up to Newtown. Are you there on the weekends?

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  22. Let it go. I tell myself that all the time. As cheesy as this may be, I love the Zac Brown Band song "let it go" because it's a reminder every time I hear it of the advice my dad always gave me when I'd get pissed as a kid - "save your strength for things that you can change, forgive the ones you can't and let them go."

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  23. Belated kudos to you, missy! So, so true, and yet so hard to always apply. I'm getting better at it the more I do it. Yay us!

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  24. I don't always forgive because I respect myself. Cutting some people out of my life has been the better decision. I decided that some people were no longer going to mistreat me. Relationships and friendships are two-way streets. I don't feel bitter and angry. I don't think about what happened. I almost never think about the people who I didn't forgive. They are out of my life and I have happily moved on. I feel free, because I no longer need to be concerned about them. I have given second chances before, and sometimes I still do. But sometimes, second chances only showed people that they could use me.

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