All of us have someone we can forgive. Everyone, everywhere, has been a victim of some sort at one time or another. Some are able to move forward. Others continue to be overwhelmed for their entire life.
Is there really a way to forgive someone who has wronged you? Why would you even consider doing so? These are hard questions to answer. Especially if there has been a heinous crime against you, such as a personal assault, or the murder of a loved one, you may find forgiveness out of the question for a long time. This article deals with smaller offenses.
You may remember a bully from school that made life almost unbearable. There may be a former spouse who you would love to scream at for a day or two. What about the person who aimed your investments in the wrong direction, so now you will work until you are 80 years old?
Consider some of the reasons people often want to forgive their fellow humans. We have all read statements from victims who have said they moved forward in order to survive, and to have some sort of life. That is one of the main reasons to forgive. How can we have a life if we are continually thinking of ourselves as victims?
What about empowering yourself? How can you do that if you are allowing someone to pull your strings? This means you have decided someone else has control over you from a distance. This person is making you unhappy, making you live in fear, and they can control you every day. Sometimes the controller does so from behind bars. Does this make any sense?
Accept the fact that you may not be ready to forgive There is no set time that is healthy to forgive. You have to do this on your schedule, not according to someone else’s plan. Just understand that the longer you take, the longer you are being controlled by another person.
Move forward in small steps. You do not have to forgive today. You can choose what you think is an appropriate amount of time. Some actually pick a date, and circle it on a calendar. That may not work for you, because you are you, not them-do what feel right for you. It may be enough for now to tell yourself you are moving toward forgiveness. Just telling yourself you want to get to forgiveness at some point may help you.
As long as you don’t forgive, you are a victim. As long as you are unable to forgive the person who wronged you, that person remains in your life. The wrongdoer who bullied you in school, or stole from you, probably has many victims. They may not even remember you, or your name, yet you are giving all of your days to them.
An important point about forgiveness is the argument of forgetting. Not many of us will forget. However, you can forgive, as in, tell the person you are moving along with your life. This conversation may only take place in your head. You can also state this to others who know the situation. Writing it on your ‘to do’ list is another help for some. No one thing will work for all of us, but you will be able to determine what is right for you.
The experience you had will always be a part of you. You won’t forget. It is just there. You simply stop dwelling on what happened every minute you continue to breathe. Don’t give the person who wronged you any more than they have already taken. This is your life, and you can decide how to live it once forgiveness is part of your vocabulary.
How do we get help when trying to forgive? Many find the relief they need by confiding about their anger to family members and friends. Conversations about future forgiveness with people you are close to may help you see some other options. People may tell you that speaking to someone who has given them spiritual guidance helped them. Also, sometimes churches have qualified members who will offer free services to a number of clients each month. If you do not want to go through a church, but you feel you need professional help, you can also check with your personal physician for a recommendation. If you are unable to afford professional help, ask for a referral to someone who charges on a sliding scale.This is not something you have to do alone.
How can you help others forgive? You may eventually be able to move on. When you are, think about some of the support groups that exist in your area for others who have been through what you have. These groups often welcome those who can speak about the strength it took them to be who they are today. Sharing your information can also help you stay strong.
When someone has taken a life, forgiveness may not be something we can ever verbalize. Still, we might decide although we don’t use the word forgiveness, we will do something with our life other than dwell on what was done to our loved one. This never means we will forget what has happened, or who is missing from our life. We still give it thought every day, then we try to put it away for a few minutes at a time. This helps us survive. We can’t live any kind of life if our mind is continually filled with things that have occurred.
The information in this article is in no way intended to replace professional counseling, or therapy that is often needed or wanted by victims.