Each and every one of us at least once in our life, has been hurt, felt betrayed, abused or mistreated. Some of you have experienced all of these things throughout life. There are those that harbor the feelings forever and never get over it and there are the ones that forgive and get through it. And for the people that understand the purpose in forgiveness, I’m sure at one point in your life you didn’t want to. Our reactions was to either get even, strike back or block and ignore, yet regardless of any of those reactions, the feelings was still there. The vision and the feeling never leave because you haven’t forgiven the person that caused you to have those feelings. Of course you will never forget what happened but you can get over it and get through it if that’s what you want.
You might say “I don’t want to forgive, why should I get over it? Or I’m not ready to get over it. This person did this or said that. They need to be held accountable. Their walking around like nothing happened and I’m the victim. They owe me an apology. Forgiving is like apologizing and I didn’t do anything, they did. That’s letting my offender think he/she has won or that it’s ok and it’s not ok.”
All this may be true and you may get that apology. But what if they don’t apologize? People apologize all the time but do they really mean it? That person may or may not accept responsibility at all. I know for me personally, an apology helps but sometimes an apology is nothing more than a person acknowledging they did something wrong but it still doesn’t take the feelings away.
For example I’ve had my heart broken a couple times and both times I received an apology. Afterwards, I still felt hurt and betrayed and it still took a while for me to get over it. But what else could they do or say to make it better? They went on living their lives and they was ok because that apology was for them. So they can have a clear conscious and not feel bad. Or maybe they cared and didn’t mean to hurt me but the damage was already done.
Have you heard the saying “You are in charge of your own happiness?” I had to realize that in order for me to get over it I had to get through it. I had to FORGIVE and let it go. No it’s not instant gratification but it started the healing process so that I can be free. I learned that it wasn’t for them but for me. I knew that I had to get my happiness back. I had to let the negative feelings go regardless if the person deserved it or not.
Often times we don’t understand the effect un-forgiveness has on our life and health. When you harbor feelings of un-forgiveness, this can leave you feeling stressed which the causes many health conditions. According to www.hopkinsmedicine.org, stress and anger alone can result in numerous changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and immune conditions. Those changes then increase the risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes including other illnesses. John Hopkins psychiatrist Karen Swartz also states that “Forgiveness is a choice and that you can choose to offer compassion and empathy to the person that wronged you. Following those steps can help you develop a more forgiving attitude and benefit from better emotional and physical health.”
Always remember this:
The first step to forgiveness is realization. Realizing that you are upset, angry, bitter and hurt.
Second is understanding that it’s okay to have those feelings but, also knowing that there is no benefit in harboring those feelings. The real benefit is when you let go.
Third is a willingness to change, grow and evolve. Know that you are not perfect and you may need someone to forgive you one day. Work on you and find ways to overcome what you’re facing. There are many outlets out here to help you. Coaching, counseling, and support groups.
Fourth is have faith that you will get through it with victory! Forgiveness is a process and you’re on your way!
Forgiveness Is For You, Not Them
Kiana Stallworth, Freedom Coach
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