Hope :: Forgiveness is Necessary

pre-edited photo by Christopher Stites

What is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is the letting go of anger and resentment. It’s removing the expectations you hold for other people and moving on with your own life.

Forgiveness is allowing love to reign in your life rather than hate.

Quote image: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King, Jr.
MLK quote

When you forgive others, you’re not forgetting the things they’ve done, but simply letting go of the negative feelings that latch onto your soul.

Why Forgive?

So, we talked a little bit about what forgiveness is, but now we need to talk about why we need to actually practice the art of forgiveness.

In our minds, withholding forgiveness (even if we don’t call it that) is a valid form of punishment. If we hold their choices against them, they’ll eventually feel the pain.

Yeah, that doesn’t happen.

We can hope for it as much as we want, but that isn’t how it works. The only person you hurt by withholding forgiveness is you.

We forgive, not for other people, but for our own sake.

Why is Forgiveness Difficult?

I don’t know about you, but when someone hurts me, every little piece of me wants to hold it against them for the rest of all time.

I try to be positive in my interactions. I try to be the one people can turn to in times of need. And yet I’m the one who struggles with forgiving other people.

So… How Do You Actually Forgive?

Forgiveness is a process, dear reader. It’s not something that will happen overnight. There are probably a lot of times where you feel like you’ve fully worked through forgiving someone when all of the anger comes racing back to the forefront.

The first thing that needs to be done in the forgiveness process is actually acknowledging what hurt you in the first place.

Depending on who hurt you, you may have buried the hurt as deeply as you possibly can. If it was a family member who you care for, you might have buried it to try to keep the relationship.

It might have been something so heinous that you tried your best to blot it from your mind so you can’t think about it or feel the pain.

It’s often easier to focus on our anger rather than feel the pain of a wrong done to us. The anger is what will eat us from the inside out.

Feeling pain is difficult; it’s much easier to let the rage take over. But it’s more beneficial to work through the healing process.

“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.”

Marianne Williamson

Once you’ve acknowledged what’s been done to you – either by yourself or someone else – look at your current situation. Look at the positives in your life.

If you want to move on from the anger, you need to focus on the good in your life. When you look beyond the negative, you’re able to let go and take a step forward.

Each time anger rises up, take a moment to acknowledge the pain and hurt and actually say out loud, “I forgive you.”

Forgiveness takes action. It takes choice. If you choose it daily, you’ll eventually find forgiveness and hope in your life.

Brittany Stonestreet signature with dove
Brittany Stonestreet signature with dove

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