Forgiveness Ain’t Easy

Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin

There was a time in which I went through my own emotional struggles after a failed relationship. The only questions I could ask myself began with one word, “why?” Unanswered question after—unanswered question. Eventually, bitterness began to sink in. Anger began to fester, and grow like an unchecked virus. Forgiveness wasn’t conceivable, and the concept of love was submerged beneath, multiple layers of resentment.

I met many women over this period (which lasted about 3 years). During this time I lost myself. Wow… hurt feelings sure can burrow into your being like a tick. It attached itself to your spirit and becomes a part of your everyday life.

Transmitting The H-Virus

I was bitter as lemon extract. However, I still dated (bitterness can be hard to discern). So, I went out of a few times. (mostly because I was bored and lonely), and met some pretty interesting women. None of which I took seriously. Deep down inside, I wasn’t ready, I had not forgiven the woman from my last relationship. I also had not taken the proper steps to heal. As a result, I became infected with the “H-Virus.”

OK, I’ll admit, I began to truly like one of the women. She was different from the rest. However, no matter how great she was, all I would end up doing is passing the H-Virus to her like a common cold.

Fast forward about 6 months later and she can’t figure out why I won’t say, “I love you.” Even I didn’t know. I liked her, but I didn’t love her. My feelings eventually ran cold as an early February morning in St. Cloud, Minnesota. I became insecure (for no reason). Mood swings were very common, and at times I’d, “go-dark,” and disappear without a trace to collect my thoughts. I was slowly, but surely breaking her down emotionally.

Forgiveness Is A Choice

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Although it should be mandatory, forgiveness is a choice.

It can be very difficult to forgive someone who has hurt you. You may even want those who aggrieved you, to feel the pain you feel. Forgiveness isn’t about being, [fair.] It’ about being, [free], and it definitely isn’t about spite. When we don’t forgive, we indirectly punish those who don’t deserve it. In the meantime, we are still connected to the person who initially caused us pain. Consequently, they still have power over us because they anchor to the lowest depths of our emotions.

“But you don’t know how much they hurt me!”

You’re absolutely correct… no one does. However, until you let go of the bitterness, anger and hatred will not only control you, but they will also dictate the type of relationships you will have going forward.

Choosing forgiveness is liberating. Think about the relationships you had in the past. What were the reasons you couldn’t move forward after the breakup?

You Won’t Forget, But You Can Forgive

Ever heard the saying, “forgive and forget?” Well, the chances of you forgetting what was-done (or said) to you is slim to none. Think about it… you are healed from a bad relationship, but you haven’t forgotten what happened. You may have forgiven them, but you didn’t forget what you went through.

You are going to have to live with the consequences of another person’s actions regardless (and sometimes your own actions). So, the only choice you have is, to forgive them. Or plan-B: you can stay bitter as a Japanese eggplant.

So, do you want to free yourself? I will answer for you with a resounding, “yes!” FYI… there will be emotional suffering and pain. You will constantly ask yourself, “why me?” Just know, it’s all a part of the healing process.

A Few Points About Forgiveness

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Forgiveness Is Proactive.

You don’t have to wait for the other person to ask for forgiveness. If you’re doing it from the heart, reciprocation isn’t that important.

Forgiveness comes from the heart.

You know the adage, “do it from the heart.” Forgiveness has come from deep within, otherwise, the bitter feelings will resurface. You can call that, “delayed resentment.”

Forgiveness is selfless.

[Selflessness] is defined as, “removing self from the equation to give freely without expectation.” To [forgive] means to “absolve.” When you put those two words together, it means, you need to forgive with the possibility it may not be returned. Choosing to let go of the past, and reject any thoughts of revenge or personal retribution. As a result, freeing yourself from the bondage of bitterness and resentment.

Forgive yourself.

If you are anything like me, your toughest critic is the person you see in the mirror every day. Some of us are what I call, “internal and self-reflective.” You always look (and blame) yourself for most of the negative things that happen in your life. While I’m a major advocate of owning your choices, at some point to break free—the chains of bitterness, resentment, and anger you must forgive yourself.

Remember the young woman I told you about? Well, I broke her down emotionally, because I hadn’t forgiven myself for the choices I made in my last relationship. I constantly beat myself up over it. I had no real love to share. A meager offering of emotion and a shadow of my former self was her reward.

No one deserves that.

Unresolved emotional issues that I impressed upon someone else who didn’t deserve it. Like I said earlier, I infected her with the H-virus. Consequently, she bore the brunt of the blast.

The Ultimate Decision

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The signs were all there. I needed to step-off. I still carried the pain of regret like a hand grenade with the pin removed. (The woman I spoke about?) I was ready to explode on her, and/or anyone, at anytime. The random mood swings, unexplained frustration, and disappearances were not fair to her. This had to stop.

In order to heal properly, like a broken bone…(forgiveness was my cast) I had to dig very deep without distraction and release the hurt, from the heart. I removed myself from all romantic interactions with the opposite sex (including her). This way I could work on myself without distraction. I am a man of very strong faith, so my daily commune with God was a major part of my resurgence.

As a result, I was born-again, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Forgiveness was the lens cleaner to my obstructed view of the opposite sex.

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