“I eventually came to understand that in harboring the anger, the bitterness and resentment towards those that had hurt me, I was giving the reins of control over to them. Forgiving was not about accepting their words and deeds. Forgiving was about letting go and moving on with my life. In doing so, I had finally set myself free.” ― Isabel Lopez. Hello everyone, I hope you’re all doing well. Let’s jump right in! We looked at forgiveness here and how that can and should be a unilateral decision for the self. Let’s explore that topic further as it’s so layered and there’s so much we could learn from it.
Has someone ever done you wrong then asked for your forgiveness yet you still had a hard time forgiving them until a while later? I have. Analyze this: someone says sorry and still you can’t let it go -why? Because sorry is not the magic word. It might be their magic word for them to be free of the guilt of hurting you, but it isn’t required for you to be free of the hurt. This brief analogy goes to show that forgiveness is a decision. If ‘sorry’ doesn’t prompt us to forgive right away and yet we eventually forgive, it supports the theory that forgiveness is a decision and a unilateral one at that.
How about taking this radical approach where forgiveness is granted even before it’s asked for? What if we walked through life assuming everybody has good intentions? Because save for a few exceptions isn’t that the truth? We hold on to grudges because we think people are being intentionally mean to us -that’s hardly ever the case. People don’t always have nefarious intentions. Give them the benefit of the doubt.
It’s important to recognize that the other party is not being stubborn or adamant and refusing to see their part in a misunderstanding. They simply can’t. Either they simply can’t see it yet or simply never will -period. If they don’t know they’ve hurt you, they don’t know; it’s not personal. Again, the best way I know to rid ourselves of resentment is to hold the core belief that we all do the best we can where we are; every last one of us. That however faulty our premise, however deep our pain, however raw our hurt, we are doing the best we can. If we believed this wholly, we would be more apt to offer forgiveness fully and avoid resentment. The actions of those that hurt us come from their own hurt and broken places, so let’s choose to release them and instead offer forgiveness.
Unresolved resentment can never lead to a peaceful existence. It instead causes emotional pain and inexplicable physical ailments. As Donna Goddard says, ‘Your body would not get sick if you held no thought of resentment. It is neither good nor bad of itself. If we hold anything against anyone, we will suffer ourselves.’ Perform an emotional and mental surgery and cut out all resentment surgically. Refuse to let it fester lest it eats you up alive. We can’t punish another when we fail to let go of the hurt they caused us, we only hurt ourselves, so we must give up any false illusions of power that come with holding on to feelings of resentment.
‘At the heart of all anger, all grudges, and all resentment, you’ll always find a fear that hopes to stay anonymous’, says Donald L. Hicks. I know this fear, that I will be the only wrong one, that I’ll be vilified as the bad one, that it will never get better unless they see what they are doing wrong, that I am being treated badly, that this is not fair, that… The sad truth is, we are at our weakest when we withhold forgiveness. We fail to forgive when we think someone owes us something. Nobody owes us anything. Cheers, Grey xoxo