“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi
What is forgiveness? Is it a strong trait or weakness? Maybe it’s an altruistic action or is it an act of kindness to feel better ourselves? Are we able to learn how to forgive?
There are many different ideas on what forgiveness actually means. It is something everyone will see subjectively and there is no right or wrong. Forgiveness may be acceptable in some cases and there can be a situation when forgiveness is unacceptable. It also depends who we want to forgive or why. There are thousands of scenarios you may come up with when you hear the word forgiveness.
This time, I want to talk about forgiving the ones who hurt you emotionally. Does not matter if it was direct act or hidden activity. And note that I am not talking about any physical abuse. I am talking about emotional pressure you had to go through because of the other person and who, in your point of view, did wrong and you ended up hurt.
It can be broken relationships, cheating, being lied, someone not supporting you, judging you or laughing at you, someone looking down on you, putting you in a weak position, talking behind your back and anything else that you would not forgive.
Why do we tend to ignore forgiveness?
You may eliminate every single thing from your life that has any connection with the person who hurt you, decide that you will never forgive them and put them on ignore until the end of your life.
Many people think that forgiving someone is letting them know that they didn’t do that bad, they didn’t hurt you that much and if you forgive them and especially if you let them know about it, you will turn out to be a weak person. You may assume that if you forgive them they will think you are insecure or desperate. You may feel insulted by trying to forgive someone and would never let yourself give it a try.
Or you may never forgive someone because you are kind of trying to punish them and it feels like satisfaction, thinking, that they are hurt with your none-forgiveness and they will suffer as much as they made you to suffer.
Another reason people don’t forgive is an attempt to prove that we are right in whatever happened and if we forgive it will be the sign of admitting that we are wrong.
How to understand people who hurt you?
Try to remember your past disagreements with others or situation where you acted the way you found it right. Have you ever thought that you could hurt someone as well? If you tell me you have never hurt someone, I will tell you that no matter what, it is impossible you have never hurt anyone.
Without you knowing, you could have said something that was very sensitive to other person. You may have rejected that man/woman who liked you but you were so not into them that you didn’t even notice. Maybe you have had argument with someone and even though you don’t know how they feel; you never know how much you could have hurt them.
Whatever other people do to you, they don’t always intend to hurt you, they are just who they are. Let me tell you from my personal experience. When I was 10 my parents got divorced and I ended up living with my mother and sister. At first I would see my father time to time and he would take us somewhere so we could hang out together. And now, I have not seen him for probably 5 years now.
For years, I hated him for this and I would never let myself forgive him. But then I realized one thing- he is who he is. He just doesn’t care so why should I torture myself and hold the grudges. I tried to see everything from his perspective and which wasn’t easy.
Very often whatever people do to others isn’t something they plan in advance. There are many things that made them whoever they are– their childhood, their parents, they life experience, their personal choices and preferences. Of course it doesn’t give them the right to hurt you and they can make choices however not everyone understands what they are doing.
And you as well, whatever you do is sometimes is because that is how you feel like, right? You are not going to say yes to every guy just because they like you and you may hurt someone, right? You may not see your child after years because probably you feel ashamed after so many years and you didn’t manage to be a good father? Or how about those who cheat on their loved ones? They are just weak and don’t know what they want.
Main point is that everyone has their own problem, weakness or perspective.
Why should we forgive someone who hurt us?
At the end of the day, who gets hurt the most is you. You are the one holding all the anger and hate because you never forgive. You are the one carrying that heavy baggage. Never forgiving someone is hate and negativity we hold inside which has impact on our personal development. So is that other person worth it? No one is worth sacrificing our happiness.
Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not to please the other person. We need to learn to forgive in order to feel free and be open for new things. Otherwise it holds us in the past and stops us from pursuing future. Not being able to forgive, at the end you hurt yourself, not others.
Forgiveness does not mean:
- It doesn’t mean you approve whatever they did
- It doesn’t mean you should have that person in your life again, unless you have desire
- It doesn’t mean you should tell them about it. Just forgive them in your heart
- It doesn’t mean you should forget whatever other person did
- It doesn’t mean you can’t allow yourself to think about it or have feelings about it
- It doesn’t mean you are weak and they are stronger
- It doesn’t mean you do it for them, you are doing this for yourself only
What happens after we forgive?
Once you honestly feel that you managed to forgive someone you will feel so much better. I never realized how much I was hurting myself for many years only because I couldn’t forgive. And as mentioned before, forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to have these people in your life again.
Personally, I always stay away from people who hurt me but I know in my heart that they just aren’t worth my time. They screwed up and did wrong? Alright, it’s just who they are and I want more free space in my mind for people who deserve my love.
It is not easy to forgive and it takes a lot. There are many people who will never think about forgiving however I hope that someday they will have the chance to feel the happiness of forgiveness.