We have all been hurt at one point or another by someone’s actions or words. Perhaps a colleague sabotaged a project, your lover had an affair, or someone criticized your abilities. These actions can leave people with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance. When you’re hurt by someone you care about, feelings of anger and sadness can feel overwhelming. Focusing on these events allows grudges to form filled with resentment, vengeance, and hostility. Allowing the negative feelings to outweigh the positive can lead to you feeling like you’re drowning in your own bitterness. Anger can invade every relationship and new experience you have. You can become so wrapped up in the injustice you exoerienced, that you forget to enjoy the present. You might become depressed and/or anxious. (The only exception to the beleif that burrying the hatchet brings peace to the soul may be sexual abuse: Some victims of such crimes are empowered when given permission to not forgive.)
Forgiveness is the decision to let go of resentment and throughts of vengence. The event that hurt you is still a part of your life, but the choice to actively forgive can lessen the grip it has on you. Forgiveness can help you forcus on the positive and can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy, and compassion for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you. It doesn’t minimise or justify the wrong they did to you. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings peace that helps you move on with your life.
It’s easy to read the above imformation, but the trick is actually applying it to your life. Forgiveness can be challeneging. The decision to forgive someone is extreemly personal. Sometimes this process takes time and hard work. Even small hurts may need to be revisited over and over again as a process of forgiveness. I’m the first to admit that this process is vexing to me. I have such deep seeded anger towards those who have hurt me, I’m not sure I could ever forgive them. That being said, I recognize the impact my anger has on me everyday. I’m working towards forgiveness. Not because they deserve forgiveness, but becuase I deserve peace. I deserve to be free of the heavy burden holding this grudge places on me. In time I hope I can eventually get to a place of peace. Until then, I’ll keep working towards forgiveness and hope one day that I’ll experience that peace.