After the Mental Health Monday series took off last month, the amount of people who related & benefited from the information I shared was truly heartwarming. I’m glad to be able to help others, even in the slightest way, during times of need. So here we are, week 6!
This week will be short but I’d like to discuss, forgiveness.
Sometimes people hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally, & the sting of what they’ve done lingers.
It’s not always easy to forget nor is healing linear but forgiveness is still needed because although the wound may not be our fault, healing is our responsibility.
I feel like forgiveness wasn’t taught or displayed enough for us to see. Starting at home, but even in school systems or society.
Sure, forgiveness is taught in grade school, typically after doing something wrong which is usually in regards to something like not sharing toys or snacks. But… what about the forgiveness adults need to require for greater circumstances?
Forgiving as a child is different than forgiving as an adult.
As a child, you forgive more freely.
As an adult, you become more guarded after certain experiences & forgive less.
If forgiveness was taught or displayed more frequently, then some people have no problems with this.
For those who didn’t have that, forgiveness is much harder.
As an adult, it’s no longer about forgiving because your schoolmates weren’t sharing toys or snacks.
With transitioning from childhood to adulthood, you’ll notice the playground changes.
You’re faced with situations that are more painful, heartbreaking, & traumatic.
Sometimes those experiences take up so much space in our lives simply because we weren’t taught how to truly forgive.
Sometimes we hold on so tightly to the things that have hurt us, we think about the things we could’ve done or said in those moments, & how those situations & people made us feel. This can trigger negative thinking patterns or self-talk, so beware of this. Try not spiral into the “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” as the past is the past.
9 times out of 10, emotions such as anger & sadness show up within us because we can’t get pass the feeling of being wronged or sometimes being the one who does wrong.
I think forgiving people who have wronged you takes guts, as well as taking accountability for wronging someone.
It’s definitely not an easy thing to do because usually the ego within us is thinking from a place of revenge or selfishness.
Forgiveness is selfless.
I hope one day pride can die off so apologies can be normalized & made in real time to encourage forgiveness in the moment. Sometimes a simple “sorry” can correct a mistake made in that particular moment.
This isn’t to say that all a situation needs is a “sorry” to move forward but normalizing apologizing goes hand in hand with forgiveness.
I think the more aligned you are within yourself the more you realize you don’t have to move from a place of pride, coldness, or hate.
When you forgive people or even yourself, you don’t have to think with a vengeful mind & heart space.
You don’t have to become bitter about the experiences you’ve had even if they were painful.
Forgive them for hurting you.
Forgive yourself for allowing them to & not knowing any better.
Sometimes that’s the hardest part, forgiving yourself.
I know for me, there’s been plenty of instances where I wish I knew better & had done better.
Truth is, you can’t continue to beat yourself up for things that are no longer or never were in your control to begin with.
Free yourself from carrying the burdens of others, they’re not yours to carry.
Before wrapping things up, I feel called to remind you all that while forgiveness is key to healing, this post is not to minimize anyone’s experiences or to advise anyone to forgive unfittingly. I know some situations are more traumatic & painful than others & you should forgive when you feel ready to do so.
Remember that pain caused by others may leave a little mark behind but it doesn’t have to become a permanent tattoo for you to wear.
While navigating forgiveness, be gentle with yourself & lead with pure intentions.