Let’s talk about forgiveness, shall we? But first I must warn you that it’s not an easy topic for me for many different reasons. First of all, I myself am struggling to forgive some people, especially those who really made my life difficult and completely miserable for several years. Second, I understand the idea of forgiveness quite differently than most people I know because I really don’t think that it’s necessary to forgive someone to be able to move forward with your life. Of course, I am not saying that you should indulge in resentment, hatred, and desire for revenge for the rest of your life even if all of that is quite understandable. What I am trying to say is that most of the people seem to place too much emphasis on forgiveness as if it has some kind of legendary or mythical status. Not to mention all of these mixed up religious messages that make you believe that you need to “forgive and forget” as soon as possible because being unforgiving makes you a “bad person”. Yeah, right… I’m sorry but I’ve always found all this stuff ridiculous. And correct me if I am wrong, but forcing yourself to forgive just doesn’t make sense at all. And how would that help anyway? Besides, if being unforgiving makes you a “bad person” how we supposed to call someone that hurt, abused or victimized us, “a VERY bad person”? That’s ridiculous and disrespectful to those who have indeed been hurt, abused and victimized. This sure as hell ain’t helping anybody.
Forgiveness is a process, not a one-time event and as such has different stages and requires certain conditions to occur. However, we are not talking here about a mathematical process but about a healing one. So even if a rational though certainly helps (as always) but it’s more complicated than this. It happens because the idea of forgiving varies from person to person. We are all different with different backgrounds, values, beliefs and moral standards. And that’s ok. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and we should respect that right even if we don’t necessarily agree with it. Of course, we’re not talking here about the things that have been outlawed by every civilized country. But that’s called common sense, I guess.
Anyway, the point is that forgiveness means different things to different people because it’s a healing process. And as such, it varies from person to person in terms of duration, a degree of damage, an immune system’s strength (level of sensitivity), and individual commitment to recovery. It’s the same as a surgical wound healing that varies from person to person and from operation to operation. And it’s normal. Do you know what’s the best part of it? That most wounds heal up rapidly without complications even if the therapeutic and healing process varies hugely from case to case. So instead of forcing yourself to forgive someone who hurt you give yourself some time. And I mean an adequate amount of time. It may be a week, a month or even a year. Take as much time as you need. Don’t rush the process but instead focus on your personal growth and self-improvement. Forgiveness is for you not for the other person and especially not for those who hurt, abused or victimized you. And most importantly, forgiveness is designed to set you free. So, are you ready to take this journey?
Past few months have been particularly difficult not only because I’ve been suffering from a severe depression episode but also because I’ve been struggling to forgive a person who wasn’t even sorry. Furthermore, this person was supposed to take care of me and instead made my life completely miserable for a couple of years. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t even bother to dig into my family’s past because I didn’t want to get dirty but sometimes you have no choice and you just have to do it. So I gritted my teeth and I analyzed once again my childhood…
The person I’m talking about, my father is terminally ill and according to the doctors, he doesn’t have much time unless a miracle happens. For this very reason, I became quite obsessed with this idea that forgiveness is absolutely necessary to be able to move on with my life. So, instead of living my daily life as I should have been I was sitting facing the wall of my bedroom and trying to figure out the way to forgive and forget a person who never ever apologized for all that sh*t he did to me. And you know what happened? I’ve almost gone insane, and there was no one but me to blame. I’ve been so lost in my own delusions that I almost lost touch with reality. Not to mention that my mental state was only increasing my paranoia and anxiety. And trust me, if it weren’t for my friends I would have gone completely insane. Now I know that I was only feeding my false hopes believing that in some magic way my father would acknowledge his mistakes and he would ask for forgiveness… How delusional and pathetic I was… I was craving for “closure” that most probably I won’t get… But you know what? It doesn’t really matter because now I know that I have to find the closure I need within myself instead of looking for someone who will give it to me… So I stopped waiting for things that most probably will never come because it’s just a waste of time and life.
And you know what is the best part of it? That I’ve finally realized that I don’t need to forgive him to be able to move on. Somehow I got involved in this kinky role-playing game with my ego. And as we all know it doesn’t bode well. I was only compromising my mental and physical health in the name of something quite unrealistic. It suddenly became clear to me why I was suffering so much. I was hunted by the demons from my past. All that unresolved pain, fear, anxiety, self-doubt and resentment resulting from trauma were slowly killing me. And suddenly everything became so clear. I understood why I felt completely overwhelmed, severely depressed and extremely exhausted. I felt that way because my past was literally sucking my life out of me. All of this sh*t that happened to me was draining my vital energy to the point that I didn’t feel like a human being but more like a living corpse wandering without a purpose. It happened because I chose the worst possible way to overcome my trauma. The one that does not work and certainly will never work. That was also the time I’ve had nightmares every single night. The demons from my past were manifesting themselves in my dream world… and creating me an incredible amount of anxiety, fear, and panic during the daytime. I was struggling to understand what was really happening. All I knew was that I was going completely insane and my mind infected by these demonic entities resulting from my trauma was leading me astray. Now I think that this kind of things happen when you’re not able to fully metabolize psychologically the painful experiences from your past and as a result, they get stuck in your subconscious mind slowly poisoning you… And if you want to stay alive and sane, you’ll have to surrender to all of these horrible feelings extreme emotions and just let them go. That’s the truth. The ugly one, but still the truth.
In life, sh*t happens and we have to deal with it. Of course, you have a right to be angry. But being angry is completely different from seeking revenge or having resentment. The ugly truth is that resentment is old anger and old hurt. It’s all of that stuff you can not forgive yourself. Why? Well, because for some reason you think that you allowed THIS to happen. But in reality, you’re not responsible for all of that stuff. Most probably you feel guilty or ashamed because someone who hurt you made you feel that way. That’s all. It’s just how abusers operate… So, listen to me now and believe me later: It wasn’t your fault! I’m right and you know what that means… it means that you have to forgive yourself first. You have to forgive yourself that you “weren’t able” to protect yourself. You couldn’t have done it because it was impossible to do that not because you were incapable of it. Forgive yourself that you’ve been hurt by others. Forgive yourself and live your life. And remember that you really don’t have to forgive those who hurt you to be able to move on with your life. Sometimes it’s just better to move on without making a “closure”. I mean, if this is meant to be, it’ll be. Just like they say: Everything will be revealed to you at the appropriate time. So don’t compromise your life, dreams, happiness, joy, guilty pleasures and any other thing that you find your satisfaction in only because you are struggling to forgive those who hurt you. Forgiveness is about you not about others. THEY don’t need it and you deserve a good life. And trust me life is a pretty fu*king great if you stop overanalyze things… You should try it… Just live in the present moment… Be mindful! And remeber that you’re not your past and you are definitely not living in your future. So get your sh*t together and create a life you want to live regardless of your tragic and painful past experiences. It’s not easy but it’s possible. Try it!
Searching For Answers
Ok, some mistakes have been done. You’ve been hurt. Some people hurt others deliberately others do it unintentionally. Some mistakes are caused by omission, distraction or superficiality. Other mistakes are made on purpose because someone made the wrong choice for the wrong reason. There are psychos out there, true. But not everybody who hurt you did it deliberately. Of course, I’m not saying that you should just forgive and forget and behave like nothing really happened. Because that would be foolish, naive and incredibly irresponsible. What I’m trying to say that not everyone who hurt you did it deliberately. Just think of all the people you may have hurt. Because it’s not like you are the only victim in the world full of abusers, psychopaths and all kinds of lunatics. You know, no one’s ever totally without blame. Of course, it doesn’t make it any less wrong. What I am trying to say is that we are only human and sometimes we hurt each other not because we are a bunch of psychopaths but because we all make mistakes for many different reasons. Sometimes we don’t even know that the decision we are making right now will turn out to be a very bad choice in the future. It’s quite ironic but hey that’s life.
At some point in life, we all struggle to forgive. The struggle is real and it can literally drain your vital energy and left you hopeless, extremely exhausted and even more pissed. What’s So what’s the point of starting this battle? None. So instead of desperately looking for a way to forgive someone you should ask yourself a question: Why I should forgive? Because forgiveness is not about “how and when” but about “why and if”. Forgiveness is for you not for others that’s why you need to understand what is the meaning of forgiveness for you. Don’t think about the others. Think of yourself. Forgiveness is for you not for others. Forgiveness is designed to set you free. Free yourself.Leave the past where it belongs…
Of course, if someone hurt you have every right to be angry but sooner or later you have to get rid of this anger otherwise it will only grow and overwhelmed you. It’s incredibly important because unresolved anger leads to anxiety, depression and extreme frustration. Not to mention a large variety of different diseases. It happens because anger is not pure emotion. It never comes first. Anger always covers another emotion like fear, anxiety, shame or even love which may be difficult to deal with in the very beginning. Especially if we are not fully aware of them. So in some sense, anger is a defense mechanism designed to protect us that is being activated automatically every single time we are overwhelmed by raw and vulnerable emotions we are not able to deal with. Which basically means that anger is normal and serves as an indicator that we’ve been hurt. So remember that you have every right to be angry. But at the same time you should remember that“being angry” is different from seeking revenge or having resentment. Why? Because living with resentment is living in the past and it’s incredibly painful… It’s living with a bitterness that is spreading to others and robs you from pleasure, happiness, and pure joy. Remember that anyone is responsible for their choices. You can choose between looking for justice or searching for answers. The first path will most likely be the path of resentment and thoughts of revenge, the second one will be the journey of self-improvement and self-awareness. The decision is yours. But whether you like it or not forgiveness is the only real path to freedom. But first, you need to understand what forgiveness means to you and then chose the right path. Your path to freedom.
Forgiveness is the key to freedom that’s why it doesn’t come easy. Forgiveness is about you not about the other person. Those who hurt you don’t need your forgiveness but you need to forgive yourself. So take a piece of paper and a pen and write a letter to yourself. Write it out. The good, the bad and the ugly. Write all your resentment out. Write this bitter letter to yourself and then burn it. Let it go. Get rid of resentment, anger, pain and even hatred. Get rid of past hurt. Let go all the things you cannot control. Let it go. Don’t give your power away. The abuser is living now only in our head. So evict them. Let them go. Let the abusers go. Let them go to their own distraction. Don’t keep the anger going. Instead, write it out, scream the hell out of you, get rid of unwanted anger and move on with your life. Do it. You deserve better. You deserve a great life. Don’t compromise your health, happiness, sanity, and peace of mind. You are better than that. Forgiveness is designed to set you free. Forgiveness is a gift to give yourself. Forgiveness is a journey, not a destination but it depends only on you whether you are ready to start this journey or not. If yes, take the first step on the only real path to freedom. Forgive yourself and leave all the bad stuff in the past where they belong…
And forgive yourself
4 thoughts on “Forgiven Not Forgotten – Why Forgiveness Is For You Not The Other Person.”
I think you’re absolutely right, forgiveness, for most, is a process. I don’t think you necessarily have to forgive to move on positively in your life either, as long as not doing so doesn’t mean you harbour resentment or hate and hurt. I think we all have to work out how best to deal with these unique situations because it’s so different for everyone. I think forgiving is a little easier with perspective and seeing the other person’s view/situation at the time etc, but forgive & forget? Damnnnnn difficult. Everyone processing hurt differently, and as such everyone will interpret forgiveness differently and respond in their own way, at their own time.
I’m so sorry you’ve had such a tough time with things, and depression doesn’t make anything, especially dealing with such hurt, any easier to manage. When that other person isn’t even sorry that’s like a kick in the teeth. Closure isn’t always neat and straightforward, and sometimes it has to come a different way from what you’d want (such as that person apologising or for the situation to be entirely different to what it actually is). Beating yourself into wanting to forgive and driving yourself ‘insane’ is exhausting, and you deserve far better than that. The other person, and anyone that’s hurt you, shouldn’t be able to do that to you, don’t give them the satisfaction. And yes, of course forgiving yourself is perhaps one of the most important steps of all.
And finally, I just wanted to say I am so incredibly sorry about your father. I am sorry for what has happened in your past, whatever that may be, and for all the pain you’ve been feeling. But you can do this. You will get through it and do whatever works for you to make sure you’re okay. Sending lots of hugs your way ♥
Hi Carol!! I hope you are well! Thank you so much for your kind words and for all the time and effort you put into commenting my posts. I don’t know how you do it but you know exactly what to say. Furthermore, I’m starting to think that your every comment could be a closing paragraph of my posts… that’s what I call “a powerful conclusion”! P.S. Never ever stop what you are doing because with you are helping many people (me included). Have a wonderful day and please read dm on Instagram 🙂 😘
Caz said it so well that I don’t know what to add. I don’t really believe in forgiveness, except (like you said) for my own well-being.
You’ve been through a lot. Stay strong, Kate!
Hi Aixa! I hope you’re doing well! I totally agree with you, Caz has a natural talent for writing powerful conclusions! There is not much to add after reading her comment! P.S. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! It means a lot to me! Take care and have a beautiful day!! xx Kate