I have been tested lately: through my friendships, my endeavors, family, at work infact it’s like I had a target on my back and I was on constant attack. Well, I understood that when you’re a selfless person who through thick and thin struggles to always make the best out of every situation, whether you’re right or wrong, people will take advantage of that and use you, walk all over you, disrespect you and hence, leaving you feeling so empty, betrayed and unworthy. I’ve had my share of it.
I’m the type of person to put my pride aside and apologize when in conflict with a loved one. I honestly hate fights and if I ever put up a front, then you must really be on the edge of wrecking me and you’ve done something crazy. But sometimes even through this, I let it go and make amends. Maybe this is me being weak or whatever but I realized the more you give chances, the more you let people walk on you. You let them know it’s ok to disrespect you and stuff and it hurts. But as a Christian, I try not to hold grudges and forgive as often as possible.
I have made some mistakes and sadly, this affected my relationships with some friends and even family members but to use the fact that because of those mistakes, they no longer wanted to be a part of my life or letting that cause a void and distance between us was the most heartbreaking news I ever got. If everyone leaves my side, how do I hold up? Where do I find strength from? How do I get motivation? At this point in life, I really came to a realization that I got me and if I’ve got to make it, then I’ve got to be my own hero, my own savior.
So this is what I learned about love and forgiveness even when I had all the reasons not to:
1) Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.
You have to forgive even when you don’t get an apology because forgiveness is about you and not them. Love is patient, love is kind…The more you hold on to grudges, the more you block blessings in your life. And thinking not forgiving the other person will kind of hurt them is like drinking poison and expecting it to kill someone else. We are destroying our hearts so forgiveness cleanses the soul. Forgive and let go.
2) Forgiveness is an act of strength.
By forgiving, you teach the other person forgiveness. Some people have never known forgiveness so you are setting an example. Be the elder one, the mature one and act right. I understand it gets hard but I learned to just lead by example and even if I ended up not receiving any gratitude, I know my Lord will be happy with me.
3) Forgiveness is a sign of self-love.
Self-love because you love yourself enough to be free from hate. Moreover, loving people who hurt you and forgiving them teaches them about the love of Christ. How any times have we hurt God, fallen short of His glory but He reached out for us every single time? How many times does the Bible tell us to forgive again? 70 x 7 times (Matthew 18:22) So we just have to practice forgiveness.
4) If you forgive, then you will be forgiven too.
Maybe that situation is to remind you how forgiving others have been towards you. Just think about it for a moment, can you think of someone who through it all, through your mess and shortcomings stayed by your side and forgave you…if yes, do you think you were deserving of their forgiveness? If you were them, would you have forgiven yourself? Now maybe that teaches you alot about forgiveness. Do unto others what you’ll want to be done unto you.
5) When you forgive, you find peace.
Staying angry robs us of our happiness and peace. Stay away from the negative thoughts and the desire to have revenge. Be love. Grow love and even when it seems dead, keep watering it. You’ll get the desired results when it’s the right time.
If it ever gets hard then try these few steps:
- Think about the incident that angered you. Accept that it happened. Accept how you felt about it and how it made you react. In order to forgive, you need to acknowledge the reality of what occurred and how you were affected.
- Acknowledge the growth you experienced as a result of what happened. What did it make you learn about yourself, or about your needs and boundaries? Not only did you survive the incident, perhaps you grew from it.
- Now think about the other person. He or she is flawed because all human beings are flawed. He or she acted from limited beliefs and a skewed frame of reference because sometimes we all act from our limited beliefs and skewed frames of reference. When you were hurt, the other person was trying to have a need met. What do you think this need was and why did the person go about it in such a hurtful way?
- Finally, decide whether or not you want to tell the other person that you have forgiven him or her. If you decide not to express forgiveness directly, then do it on your own. Say the words, “I forgive you,” aloud and then add as much explanation as you feel is merited.
It is not easy and each time I forgave, some made me regret why I ever forgave them but at the end of the day, I was being me. Donot become like whoever hurt you. Be better. Grow and even if they ain’t deserving, keep loving and forgiving. You’ll get your reward. I hope this helped someone. Have a blessed beginning of week. God bless.