I’ve been struggling to come up with new content lately, I won’t lie. I was sitting at work one day and the urge to write about this suddenly came to me. I immediately flipped to the very back of my work notebook to jot down some thoughts on what forgiveness after pain means to me.
Forgiveness is hard. Whether you are the one in the wrong or you were the one that the wrong was done upon, deciding that you are going to move on is hard. It’s not easy saying that the pain you were feeling is simply… in the past.
I have thought a lot about the ideal of forgiveness. It can be freeing and bring a lot of relief. I like to think that, for the most part, I’m pretty good at doing it. After digging deeper into the situations of genuine forgiveness that I have personally experienced, I came up with a few points to remember when it comes to forgiveness after someone has caused you pain. Keep in mind, these are just my opinions.
To “forgive and forget” is foolish. I heard that phrase a lot as a kid. I believed in it for a long time. But let’s be honest. It is foolish to forgive someone and then tell yourself there is no chance that it’ll happen again. I’m not saying hold grudges. You can let go of the pain, but still be conscious of what they have done to you in the past. There is nothing wrong with be cautious with your heart. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Forgiveness does not necessitate that you set yourself up for more pain in the future.
Sometimes forgiveness requires distance. You can forgive someone and completely move past a heartbreak without allowing them back into your life. Some people are just plain negative, and some people will always have toxic tendencies – no matter how many chances you hand out. Sometimes the best way to heal is to conclude the relationship altogether.
Just because you forgive, doesn’t mean you dismiss their actions as acceptable. It just means you’ve let go of the resentment. There is a reason we all feel pain. Your feelings are always valid. Sometimes they may be exaggerated, but they are always valid.