Unforgiveness and How To Forgive:
I’ve been abused. I’ve been lied to. I’ve been betrayed by someone I considered a friend. I’ve been hurt in my life, really badly. Unforgiveness and how to forgive is not an article I was ready to read or write for that matter, for a long time.
For many years of my life, I wallowed in anger, vengeance, hostility, and thoughts of revenge. These emotions gave me power (I thought). I truly felt a little better after contemplating all the ways to get even (I had some pretty good ideas too).
Are you ready to understand the pain of unforgiveness and how to forgive?
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The Pain of Hanging On To Pain
What I didn’t realize until later in life, was that I was victimizing myself over and over again every time I relived what happened to me, what I went through. Every second I was spending thinking about what happened and how I had to implement justice, to “right the wrong,” was killing me.
I would have started feeling better if I had put the atrocities in my life behind me instead of reliving them. My anger was not a cure, it was a bandage that I keep ripping off and therefore, never healed. The suffering from unforgiveness prevented me from learning to forgive.
Should We Forgive Others
I’m certain that there are people in my life that do not deserve to be forgiven for the pain they caused me and for the physical and emotional abuse I suffered because of them. How do you feel about that?
These people that were responsible for my abuse as a child, don’t deserve forgiveness. I wasn’t sexually abused, but I sympathize with those that were regarding no mercy for their abusers.
Some disgusting people do not deserve forgiveness. My abusers don’t deserve forgiveness. Some people just don’t deserve it, even if they said sorry and begged for it (even though mine haven’t).
Forgiving others is a tough one. I don’t “completely side with others” in the personal development industry on this issue. I don’t side with the phycologist’s articles that I read researching this topic for my article either.
In Psychology Today, the very first sentence of their article reads: “Most psychologists recommend mustering up genuine compassion for those who have wronged us and moving on from the past, instead of allowing bitterness and anger to perturb our emotional well-being.”
I say horseshit. Mustering genuine compassion for my abusers are not going to work for me.
Why You Have To Let It Go
You don’t have to let your hatred go. You can hang onto it. Hang onto it until you realize that it no longer serves you (it never really did, but you need to know that for yourself). Reading articles to “learn how to forgive someone that hurt you” is a great way to educate yourself, but the most important thing to know is that it is ok to be angry.
It’s ok to hurt, to be sad, to feel the pain and not know what to do about it. These are emotions, and it’s ok to have them. Nobody has the right to tell you to “follow these steps and get on with your life.” Even if they have been through exactly what you have been through, they don’t have that right.
What To Know
The important thing to understand is that it is ok to fall. It is ok. It’s ok to have your “moments” and sometimes these moments bring tears and pain. Other times, revengeful, ugly thoughts.
The next most important thing to understand is that you will not feel this way forever. There will come a day when you stand up and stop allowing yourself to repeatedly be victimized. This day will come. It will come when you are ready.
- A psychologist is ready for you to move on
- Not when I am ready for you to move on
- Not when those closest to you are ready to move on
- Only when you are ready!
You Need Time
If you need time, take time. It’s your pain and nobody has the right to minimize it. Know this and forget what the “experts or psychologists” say. I don’t buy that bullshit.
When you are ready. When you are truly exhausted of the pain and hurt continuing to harm your life (whenever that may be) then, and only then will you be ready to forgive. If you attempt to “let it go” before you are truly ready to let it go, it will not be real. If forgiveness isn’t real, it means nothing.
True forgiveness has absolutely nothing to do with the other person. I had a Life Coach give me some advice once. Her advice was to reach out to my abusers and tell them I forgive them. I considered it. Then, I came to my conclusion on the matter:
Forgiveness is not about the people that hurt you, however, they hurt you. Mine was severe physical, verbal, mental and emotional abuse – but, it doesn’t matter. All forgiveness, although some harder to give than others, is the same. It isn’t about the other person or people in my case, it’s about you.
If you were to reach out and tell the person that hurt you, broke your heart, betrayed you, abused you, etc. that you forgive them and they reacted in a manner inconsistent with how you felt they should have responded, would that negate the fact that you forgave them?
It might. You might get angry again and take back your “bright idea to forgive them in the first place.” It’s paramount that you make forging someone about you, not them, and certainly not how they might respond (or should respond).
I Don’t Need Them To Ask For Forgiveness, It’s Not About Them
It doesn’t matter if the person that you need to forgive (for your own sake, when you are ready) asks for forgiveness or responds to you appropriately forgiving them. That has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is about you.
I have no intention of speaking to the people that hurt me when I was a kid, ever again. I’ve forgiven them. They no longer make me weak. I have taken my power back. I don’t need validation from them or even an acknowledgment of their wrongdoing to be at peace. It’s been about “them” for so long in my life, now it’s about me – and you should feel that it’s about you too.
How To Forgive
This is indescribable. All I can say is this, my words will not give “how true forgiveness feels” justice. Imagine the heaviest weight, perhaps the weight that is crushing you right now, being lifted off your chest. I guess that is all I can say to describe it.
Forgiveness is taking your power, the power that was stolen from you, back. That’s what forgiveness is.
- Being stronger than the person that hurt you
- No longer allowing the person that hurt you to continue hurting you for the rest of your life
- Being brave
- Loving yourself.
- Sometimes hard to do (that’s ok)
Letting go of the pain of unforgiveness and learning how to forgive
How to Forgive
When you are ready:
- If speaking to the person that hurt you is warranted, do so. Tell them how they hurt you and how it has negatively impacted you and your life.
- Don’t expect an apology. Assholes never think they did anything wrong or sometimes, they just don’t care.
- If speaking to them is not a good idea (only you know the answer to that) then write a letter pouring out your feelings and emotions.
- This will be the last time you cry. Writing this letter ends it, just as the phone call if you choose to make a phone call, ends it. You can mail the letter or burn it. Whatever works for you. The point is, this letter ends it. (I mailed mine)
- Get help if you need it. Sometimes it’s a good idea to talk to someone. I strongly advise you (if you need to talk to someone) not to talk to your friends and family. Talk to someone that won’t be tempted to “say what you want to hear.” You don’t need a friend saying what you want to hear, you need someone to say what you need to hear.
If It Isn’t That Serious
If you are reading this article and your situation is “not that serious,” then ask yourself, “Why am I harboring anger, resentment, and bitterness?” Seriously, if the situation where forgiveness is warranted is not that serious, why are you letting it affect you? Think about it!
Perhaps the pain of unforgiveness and how to forgive shouldn’t be concerning you? Should it? Don’t put yourself through unnecessary trauma in your life. You should love yourself more than harboring anger over something trivial. Life’s too short!
This is perhaps the most difficult thing to do of all, forgive yourself. No matter what someone else has done to hurt us, forging someone else is easier to do than to forgive ourselves. If you hold on to your regrets and the things you are not proud of, you will go through life feeling like you don’t deserve.
- Maybe you broke someone’s heart for example, which you regret
- Now you feel like you don’t deserve to love or be loved.
- Maybe you lied to a friend a long time ago and you regret it
- Now you feel like you don’t deserve to be trusted.
- Etc. Etc.
Not forgiving yourself and telling the Universe that you don’t deserve greatness in your life, will net you those results.
Forgiving yourself isn’t easy, but you must. It is important to keep in mind that you are not the same person you were when you made that mistake – you are better for having made it (you’d never do it again.) Nobody, not even me, is perfect. Mistakes in life make us better people as long as we don’t keep making them over and over.
Unforgiveness and how to forgive is a hot topic. The internet is loaded with everyone who’s anyone telling you “what you must do and how to go about doing it.” The best thing you can do is allow yourself the space to hurt if hurting is what you need to do. Then, allow yourself to get up, when you are ready, and take back what belongs to you – your power.
You are a lion or a lioness, act like one!
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Author: Philip Isaac
Philip Isaac is the founder of Electrified Mind. He is determined to reach the highest level of personal development as humanly possible by interacting with other world leaders through the Electrified Mind Podcast and absorbing all the knowledge they have to offer (you should join him). His overwhelming desire to make other people feel how he feels about life, drives him.