Here’s the thing about forgiveness, it’s not always tied to an apology. Meaning you can offer an apology and not receive forgiveness, or that you will be called upon to forgive someone that hurt you even if they have not offered you an apology -BOOM! 🎤🎙
Hi everyone! Yesterday we looked at regrets and apologies and today we look at the flipside of that which is forgiveness, and eventually resentment, depending on how successful we are with the forgiveness part. Someone hurt us and we probably hurt them too, because it’s rarely ever one-sided. Until we have built ourselves to saintly levels of mastering our emotions we are reactional creatures; this is the human dynamic. The tit-for-tat is the height of pettiness but so many of us humans remain unenlightened and are thus wired this way.
During the healing process, we’ve decide to be the hero, take the fall and apologize first -someone has to so it might as well be us, right? And now we wait to get an apology back for ‘their’ failings, and none is forthcoming. And the sun rises and sets and rises and sets again. Even many moons might rise and still no apology -WHAT?! Do we take our apology back? (juvenile thought) Do we prompt them to apologize too? (unproductive thought).
The truth is, the only person we have control over is us, no one else. And going back to this post, (Am I a Bad Person?) we cannot ever convince someone that they have wronged us if they can’t see it themselves. Ever. So now here we are, having fully apologized on our part, even made amends where possible, yet no apologies are forthcoming our way. Where does that leave us, are you going to suspend life until they come around? And what if, God forbid, they never do?!
This is why there are countless teachings stressing that forgiveness is usually about letting ourselves off the hook. If we don’t forgive until we get an apology, we have handed over our power and the control of our lives to the other party until they come around, never you mind that they never might! Hence the teaching that forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. They might not have a clue we’re hurting! Or they might know it and enjoy it! We must rescue ourselves, no one else is coming to get us brave girls, brave boys; we must make the choice to rescue ourselves.
So how do we rescue ourselves? We rescue ourselves by forgiving regardless of what they do. Yes, we rescue ourselves by making a unilateral choice to forgive. We forgive because we have to, indeed need to. We forgive because in the final analysis it’s really between us and God. We forgive so we can move forward and have fruitful lives.
Especially if they are not in our immediate circle, set them free, wave then away and let them go. If we need help processing our feelings of resentment, we can get ourselves some help, see a therapist and work through it. If they are close to us, we might have to get into some type of counseling or therapy together to heal the residue resentment. But even that is not necessary if we have truly let it go.
Now we shouldn’t walk up to someone unprompted and declare pompously ‘I forgive you’ if they haven’t asked for our forgiveness. That is not us being forgiving, that’s us being self-righteous, sanctimonious and plain old petty and messy. People need to come to that realization themselves and unless and until they do, we must move on along with our lives.
If we hold on to those feelings, resentment will set in, and we don’t want that. We do what we have to do to make sure we release all pain and our hearts are free to continue loving. Let’s always remember that forgiveness is not always tied to an apology, and that someone doesn’t always have to say they’re sorry in order for us to forgive them. After all, forgiveness is a decision, not an emotion. Cheers, Grey xoxo