/8Is Forgiveness actually Important?
Originally published at www.twylaclarke.com on February 2, 2018.
Short answer… Yes, it is important but not only is it important it’s necessary,
The truth is people are afraid to forgive. But it doesn’t have to be something we fear. When I was going through my healing journey and learned of the areas and people I needed to forgive, myself included, I didn’t want to. In truth, I would have probably done anything else but forgive.
You’ve probably heard the saying “Forgiveness isn’t something you do for someone else, it’s something you do for you.” Jodi Picoult.
Forgiveness is about releasing the emotional bonds you have and taking your power back. It’s removing the hold they had over you and standing firm in the belief that this person can no longer hurt you, have power over you, control you and/or manipulate you. It’s about placing an invisible boundary of what you are no longer willing to tolerate in your life.
For me, I was afraid to forgive because I thought that by forgiving a person for what they had done to me meant that I would be giving them permission to hurt me again. I thought it made me soft, vulnerable, weak and defenseless. In my mind forgiveness equaled doormat. And that was what I actually feared, being a doormat.
I had been a doormat for so long, in my life and relationships that when I had become aware of it, I refused to ever be taken advantage of again. Which is where my own forgiveness came in. I had to learn to forgive myself. I had to release the anger that I had towards myself, for making poor decisions, trusting, putting my faith in and loving the wrong people. To be honest it was harder to forgive myself than it was the other people. I judged myself and had tremendous amounts of guilt and shame that I had held on to. And all the pain I had turned into shields of armour, so that I didn’t get hurt again, if I even let them in. Forgiveness took me learning compassion — compassion towards myself and others .
Once I learned that “Hurt people, hurt people” Sandra D. Wilson it somehow made it easier for me to understand. People didn’t hurt people purposely. They did it because they didn’t know better. They didn’t have the skills to do better. We are all just doing the best we can with the skills we have and if we aren’t continuing to work on ourselves and heal our wounds we are going to continue to hurt people.
Now I’m not making excuses for anyone’s behaviour and these statements aren’t a cop out. If your parents never gave you love, it’s likely because they never received it themselves and weren’t taught how to give love. If people didn’t understand you growing up, it because they weren’t shown or taught understanding.
Forgiveness after all, is a choice and one that everyone has the ability to make. Maybe you aren’t ready yet, and that’s OK. But if you know this is only causing you pain and making you angry and frustrated, then I hope this serves you as a great reference to begin the journey.
- Forgiveness is for you, not them.
- Forgiveness doesn’t make you a doormat, excuse any behaviour or mean that you will be taken advantage of again.
- Be compassionate with yourself and others.
- Forgiveness takes time so be gentle with yourself.