In relationships, there are things that will happen either intentionally or unintentionally to hurt us. It is at that time in our lives when we must quiet ourselves and decide if we are going to forgive and move on or forgive and let go. Notice, I didn’t say forgive and forget.
What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is a very powerful and loving component of any relationship. I choose to define forgiveness as the act of granting grace to someone for an act or deed committed against you or others. This does not mean forgetting the act nor immediate reconciliation. Forgiveness means you have accepted what has occurred and are now finding a way to deal with what happened.
Because you forgive does not mean the disappointment, hurt, anger, shame, or whatever feelings you may experience are immediately gone. Depending on the wrongdoing, forgiveness is usually a gradual process that you have chosen to do. This is not mandatory, but it can be quite beneficial. Because you forgive, you have decided that you will reclaim your power because to forgive is to move on.
Forgiveness does not require you to forget
When you forgive, it does not mean that you will forget what has been done. In fact it should be the very opposite. You should remember what occurred so that the transgression does not occur again.
A lot of times, we simply want to punish the offender so they can experience the variety of emotions that their act caused. Then there are the times when we choose not to forgive because we tend to think the other person will take that as a “green light” to carry on with whatever they did to require our forgiveness in the first place. In my opinion, it is the opposite. If the person is truly remorseful, your forgiveness will mean the world to them. In turn, they will take that as an opportunity to show you that you did the right thing when you decided to forgive.
This does mean that you will remain in a loving relationship with the person that hurt you. Moving on means you are dealing with your feelings. You determine whether you will deal with your feelings with the person who hurt you, with or without them in your life.
It is through forgiveness that you release the power their actions had over you and reclaimed the power of your emotions. As a result, you are acknowledging what happened, how it made you feel and continuing with your life and not allowing your felling to hold you hostage.
In the moving on process, you will also determine if this is a relationship worth keeping. Just because you forgive does not mean that things will return to normal. In time they may, but that will require prayer and work.
You really need time to think about what transpired and determine whether you are strong enough to forgive and continue in the relationship with the person who hurt you. The work needed will be difficult and require you not to bring up that transgression that you forgave.
Forgiveness is powerful
As stated earlier, you can forgive and not forget, but that does not give you the license to remind the person who hurt you of their wrongdoings. Forgiveness demands that you remember so the act will not continue, but you are not to bring it up (as we sometimes like to do).
Sometimes we take pleasure in reminding others of the wrongs they have done in order to make ourselves appear flawless. Look in the mirror, are you without (internal) flaws? Just because you were on the receiving end of the pain does not mean you have the right to control, remind and manipulate the offender because of their past behavior. This is the time for you to step up and show what real love is if this relationship (whether with a loved one, family member, friend or colleague) is worth keeping.
True forgiveness requires us to show grace and mercy even when it is not warranted. The grace granted is where the power lies. The person on the receiving end of that grace will remember how they made you feel and will have no choice but to be reminded of how genuine your love for them is because you chose to forgive and move on without constantly reminding them of their faults. What an awesome love that is!
Forgiveness is hard but worth it
Any enjoyable relationship is worth fighting for if you are able to truly forgive. Only you can decide if that happens or not because you know what’s best for you. Forgiveness begins and ends with you. There will come a time in your life (if there hasn’t been one already) when you will require forgiveness. Would you want someone to extend compassion and grace to you?
Life is a funny thing and has a way of reminding us that we aren’t so perfect either.
When your loved one has hurt you, after your immediate shock, anger hurt and/or disappointment, forgive. Do it for you, not for them. Let that person know that you have forgiven them (even if they do not ask), so you are no longer a prisoner to that pain. While talking with the person who hurt you share your feelings and set boundaries so the behavior does not repeat itself. Knowing the desires of the person who hurt you will allow you to determine their role in your life… either a marvel or a memory.
After you have had time to think about everything that has occurred, ask yourself, do I want this person around? It is perfectly fine to say no. You have done the hard work by you willingness and ability to forgive.
If the answer is yes, you must never remind them of that wrongdoing. This does not mean that will not hut you again, but it should not be in same way. After all, do you want to be reminded of your faults and flaws? Of course not!
Forgiveness is indeed difficult, but the end result can be so wonderful. Relationships can become stronger, closer, more loving and they can continue to thrive when you chose to forgive and move on. If your loved one is sincere in their apology, explanation, and willingness to talk it out with you, please wholeheartedly consider what they mean to you. If the love still resides in your heart, and you believe they will not hurt you in that way again, do yourself a favor and chose to forgive and move on with them as a part of your life. Remember in order to receive love,