The art of forgiving someone is like being able to create a painting on a brand new canvas, or in some instances is like adding complex details to a painting that is halfway done. The eye that captures the art of forgiveness determines whether it will be beauty or pain. The power of forgiveness is of extreme dominance that can end up having the ability to free someone from a matter that they feel powerless over. The feeling of powerlessness comes from the inability to forgive ones self because they have no control of getting forgiveness from someone else.
The power of forgiveness cannot be measured with any sort of ruler or scientific method. It can only be measured through the hearts it touches and the minds it frees. The art of forgiveness breaks chains hindering the people involved. The chains broken really just depend on if forgiveness is extended and if the forgiveness is real.
Forgiveness has the potential to have endless possibilities to bring forth growth, love, reconciliation, positivity, and healing. However, as much as the thoughts of forgiveness can bring forth theses great benefits, its a choice that some are unwilling to compromise themselves to doing.
Why do some choose to never forgive and hold on to grudges instead? Why do we choose to let anger fester to the point of resentment and unhappiness? Why do we choose to be unforgiving of what was done to us, ruin relationships and alter our perceptions? Why do we allow it to hinder our lives and bitter our souls?
Is it a pride? Is it hurt? Is it anger? Could it possibly be all of these? There is plenty of reasons why some people choose to forgive and why some do not. However, not forgiving someone can do nothing for our growth or well being. It may makes us feel as though we have the power because we don’t forgive, but truthfully by not forgiving they actually keep the power over us.
There was once a time in my life where I had a hard time forgiving some family members that had wronged me. A couple of these family members happened to be my mother and my grandma. When I was younger my mother left out of my life, when I needed her most. I felt as though she just up and left me and my sister. I felt as though she betrayed, neglected and abandoned us. I had a deep rooted sadness, anger, disappointment, confusion and etc . It had me growing with extreme amount of resentment to the point where I wanted nothing to do with my mother. I didn’t have anything to say to her at all, and honestly at one point in my life I didn’t know what to say to her. I felt lost. For a long period of time, I begin to be very disrespectful, and not show love or compassion towards her. I had it in my mind once upon time that she didn’t deserve my forgiveness. That she didn’t deserve my love because of how bad she hurt me.
Through out the time thinking like this I was really depressed. I felt even lonelier, and empty because I didn’t have my mother, as well as understanding. It was like no communication, and no emotion. Even this begin to eat at me, mentally, emotionally and physically.
However, I believe what woke me up to forgiving my mother is when I finally did take the time to stop being angry and understand exactly what it is she did. She felt more regretful then I did about the situation, which in a sense made me want to forgive her. I think the main reason though is when I had a child of my own. It put it into realization for me, that even though I didn’t desire to be like my mother, that I would to make mistakes on my own that I may in turn have to seek my child’s forgiveness from. Although, I don’t plan on neglecting or abandoning my child, I will eventually make mistakes.
Below are some of the things that I did to begin to forgive and move on.
How To Forgive And Move On
1. Realize that you can not change anything that has happened
A lot of the reason it was hard to forgive, was because in our minds, we try to replay the image of, ” what should have, and could have been”. Having this mindsets tends to stall the process of forgiveness because you never allow your mind to think past the what ifs.
2. Realize that you are not the reason why
There were plenty of times in the mist of trying to forgive, that the thought of the reasons why things were happening was because of me. You have to first be able to remove yourself out of it, and know that someone else’s actions has nothing to do with you. Their actions are their actions. Until you accept that you had nothing to do with it, it will be hard to move forward.
3. Realize that everyone makes mistakes
One of the most powerful things that was said to me before was ” at that moment, I thought that I was making the right decision, in that moment I didn’t realize what could happen after that moment, because in that moment I thought I was making the right decision.” Everyone makes mistakes, including yourself. Knowing this gives you a little more compassion and understanding towards the people that have made mistakes against you.
4. Realize that it all takes time
Dont try to rush forgiving someone. It took me a while to forgive my mother and grandmother. It took me to want to forgive on my own time, verses trying to rush or offer forgiveness when they wanted it. Healing takes time, as well as understanding taking time. But I do believe that time does heal, and even though you may not forgive someone right away, you still have the opportunity to forgive them once you have come to grips with whatever it is your forgiving them about.
5. Realize that forgiving someone is not saying what they did was right
Alot of times people say they dont want to forgive someone because then its like they are saying to that person it was right for them to do whatever it is to them. However, this statement is not true. Forgiving someone is not saying what they did was right but is instead saying what they did is wrong, hence them having to ask for forgiveness.
6. Realize holding on to grudges doesn’t make anything better
Some people would rather hold a grudge then forgive because holding a grudge is a lot easier than offering someone forgiveness that you dont think deserves it. The grudge however makes all involved miserable, and sometimes can make you the most miserable one in the situation. It can make you most miserable because not only are you holding on to the wrong doing done to you, you are also allowing anger, resent, bitterness to take hold to.
7. Realize the longer you hold on the longer that person has power over you
The longer it takes you to forgive a person, the longer that person and what they did has a hold over you. Its like a leech that wont go away unless you pull it off. The longer you hold on to it the longer it takes for you to heal and move on.
8. Realize that just because you forgive doesn’t mean you forget. Just because you don’t forget doesn’t mean you can’t move on
Offering someone your forgiveness doesn’t mean that you will forget what they did to you. It does mean that you are being the bigger person and not allowing what they did to alter your state of being or ruin a relationship. You may forgive,you may have triggers that make you rethink of the situation, and when that happens remember you have forgiven that person, so that you dont continue to relive that situation over again.
9. Realize that you may have to forgive someone more than once
The fact that we are imperfect is the same fact of why you may have to forgive the same person over and over. Sometimes they may intentionally do things, and sometimes they may unintentionally do things. Either or you will have to have open mind in knowing that there may be a chance of having to forgive someone more than once because we all make errors.
13 Reasons on How to forgive and move on
10. Realize that forgiveness is what you need to make the first step in moving on
Forgiveness is a lot of the time the first step in moving on from brokenness, hurt, pain, sadness, anger and etc. Forgiveness opens the door to acceptance and healing. Being able to accept things that happened the way they happened, allows you to be able to face these things and move on from them. We dont always allow ourselves to do this because we are afraid to face whatever emotions or circumstances that could happen from facing them. But realizing that if we dont face them head on, we will only continue to bury them and carry them with us.
11. Realize that just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to have them back in your life.
There are variations of forgiveness. We offer forgiveness through out the day, say for instances when someone steps on your toe, or cuts you in line. We will more than likely quickly offer forgiveness when they apologize. The ones that have deeply pained us are he ones it takes longer, and is harder to forgive. Even though it may be hard, and take longer just know that offering that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you have to let that person back in your life. Allowing someone back in your life is your choice. If someone has done you wrong and you have forgiven them, it is up to you whether or not you want to give them another chance to be back in your life. Either way whether you do or dont let them back in your life, the choice should only be yours and not influenced by anyone’s opinion.
12. Realize that you dont have to forgive someone face to face
If say for instance the person you want to forgive has passed away, or is in a situation where you cant physically in person tell them, there are always other methods of forgiveness. If this happens to be the case, and you cant do it face to face, you can always do something such as write a letter, talk at their grave site, draw. You could also just talk it out with yourself possibly through exercise, which tends to give positive hormones that will help you process the emotions and get them out. So, you can have other methods of symbolizing forgiveness, other than talking to that person. I would suggest trying to talk to someone if they are still living, but if not possible, doing something for yourself that shows you have forgiven them, is just as fine.
13. Realize that you wont always get the reaction, change, or validation you are seeking from the person that hurt you
Sometimes we hold on to not forgiving someone, because we just want them to change, or we want them to tell us how sorry they are they messed up. Or we want them to validate us by saying that they were wrong and we were right. Honestly, though in some people or circumstances these things may not be possible, if the person or circumstance we are dealing with is not emotionally stable themselves. But just because they dont offer these things to us, doesn’t mean we cant do ourselves the favor of forgiving them, and letting go for our own good. We validate ourselves by offering the power of forgiveness to a person who cant validate us or even sometimes their own selves.
These are just a few suggestions that have helped me in moving on. I plan to do a video telling more of my story that will tell a story about forgiveness. The bottom line is that forgiveness is not easy, but neither is living with it everyday. Even though it may seem harder to forgive at the moment because our emotions get in the way, it will be easier in the long run for us . It will be easier because you wont be carrying so many loads on your shoulders. Coming to grips with whatever trauma, incident, mistake, or etc is hard but it is freeing. It frees you up mentally, emotionally, and doesn’t take a toll on you physically.
Forgiveness is possible. Freedom is possible. The hurt doesn’t make you who you are. You have the power and the capability of moving forward, and letting go.
Start today by taking one small step, to just possibly revisit the reason why you are unwilling to forgive in this moment in time. Ask yourself who you need to forgive, and who you can ask forgiveness from for something that you may have done wrong.
There is always two sides to the story, but we are so often caught up in our side that we dont begin to understand and open our eyes to it being another.