Everyone who reads this blog has been hurt by someone during the course of their life. Some more often and deeply than others. This message is for everyone no matter who, and no matter how much has been done against you. There are no exceptions to this technique, and it brings healing every time.
It is forgiveness.
It is the best (hardest) thing you can do to heal from past pain and bring yourself out of your past and have a hopeful future. When you choose to forgive you release all the power of the hurt and its sway over your life and your decision making. Holding onto hurt and then allowing it to become bitterness, anger, rage, wrath, or hatred makes you forever a hostage to that hurt and the person who hurt you. Forgiving makes you free. Forgiving allows you to move out of the shadow of the hurt and create something new. Forgiving cuts off this entanglement and allows you decide what, if any, connection remains between you and the one who hurt you.
Much of the reluctance in forgiveness comes from a lack of understanding about what forgiveness is and what forgiveness is not. First, we’ll start with what forgiveness is not to resolve some of the misunderstandings.
Forgiveness is not…
saying what happened was ok.
excusing the person who hurt you.
denying the hurt or minimizing the impact.
just forgetting it happened and moving on with the relationship
ignoring the offense.
conditional on if the person says their sorry or even if they ask for forgiveness.
releasing your need to see the outcome.
letting go of making it right in your way on your time.
turning the hurt over to God for his justice and healing.
costly to you when you give it away.
focusing on healing your hurt.
preventing bitterness, anger, rage, or wrath from taking over your mind and heart.
freeing yourself from a painful past.
The path of forgiveness is more difficult than holding on to our anger, rage and hurt. However, taking the easy road rarely leads to a destination worth going to. When we forgive, we release the person who hurt us from our need to get revenge, see the justice carried out to our satisfaction and know that it ended up “fair”. Forgiving is trusting God to make it right and simply walking away to focus on dealing with what we can control and change, our own hurt.
When the focus is back on how we can heal and move forward in our life then, we end up in a new and healthier place. Sometimes forgiveness can lead to restoration in relationships and sometimes it does not. Sometimes we forgive and the one who hurt us never even knows that we have. Not every damaged relationship is fixed but forgiving releases you to move forward. The act of forgiving breaks a hold on you and a power over you. Truly, this is the best (hardest) thing you can do for yourself.