Struggling With Unforgiveness?
Unforgiveness- unwilling or unable to forgive, having or making no allowance for error or weakness
Forgiveness-the act of forgiving
Alright, I hope you are ready for this! We will dig deep, do the work, and set the standard when it comes to forgiveness.
When someone hurts me, whether emotionally, physically, and/or mentally, it takes me a long time to bounce back. I am very open to extending grace to others, especially when others decide not to; I always try to see the best in people, and often, I end up hurt. And one thing about me is that if I am hurt, it's a long road before there can be true healing. It's not that I am holding a grudge; it's the fact that I can not understand why a person would treat another human being that way. Again, there I go, over-extending grace and compassions without taking time to stop and stand up for myself. This is where therapy comes in; this year, I want to gain the tools to balance the extension of grace that I so willingly give to others and the courage to heal.
The truth is I have always been this way. I really believe that God designed me this way, and I try my best to navigate it because I know one day my future child will need the heart and the love that I have, and I know my friends do too. With all of that being said, I came up with a few steps that I feel will help me and hopefully help you navigate through the pain and free yourself.
Step 1: Get to the root.
I intentionally made this the first step because I find myself examing the fault of the other person and myself versus digging and finding where it stemmed from. Getting to the root of the issue can help clear the path for healing or closure. Now, this step is not easy because oftentimes, I have let the hurt build up to the point of no return and maybe the other person has as well, so it's hard to dissect it and pinpoint its starting point. Please know that there may be a time when you can not figure out what happened and why but the effort to figure it out is what matters.
Step 2: Remember that your feelings are valid.
I don't care what anyone says; YOUR FEELING ARE VALID! (yes, I am yelling at you.) I can not tell you how often someone has invalidated my experience, pain, and feelings to help themselves not feel like the "evil one or the one who has caused the pain." But let me tell you.... NO ONE should ever have that kind of power over you, your emotions, and your mental health. I can tell you that the moment someone refuses to acknowledge their wrongdoings and make themselves the hero ends the conversation immediately.
At that moment, you need to decide what is best for you. Whether it's walking away, tabling the conversation for another time, or just resolving within yourself that the friendship or relationship is over. I want you to walk with your head held high and stand in your power and never doubt yourself in those moments.
STEP 3: Recognize that you may never receive the apology you want or need.
Let's be honest whether the person is old or young; some people are just stuck in their ways and will not ever admit their wrongs and apologize, and yes, with lots of therapy, I will conquer this. When it comes to this step, just know that you can walk away and do not worry about a thing. God sees and hears all; vengeance is his. God will handle the entire situation, and honestly, it may not be in your timing, but that's how God works. He does not operate on our schedule or on our timing.
Step 4: Ask yourself: if you never receive their apology will you be okay?
Looking back on my life, I can now say yes! But at one point in life, I was hell-bent on receiving an apology and failed to understand that apologies/forgiveness can not be demanded from people. Forgiveness takes time; it takes acceptance and, most importantly, patience.
Step 5: Will an apology help mend the relationship or heal your brokenness?
The answer to this question changes for me depending on the person and the situation. Some relationships do not last forever, and we have to be okay with that. But an apology can help start the healing process on both sides but remember it must be genuine! When you are ready, you will know what to do and what you will need moving forward.
STEP 6: What can you do to ensure you are whole and healed moving forward? (regardless of the outcome)
For me, leaning on my husband, faith, and therapy helps me out a lot! Lately, I have been focusing more and more on myself, and by doing that, I am discovering new ways to find happiness and wholeness. My prayer is that you do not become so entangled in pain or hurt that you forget to focus on yourself and how amazing your future is and how much the next person will need the complete and healed version of you.
I still truly believe that everyone has a bit of goodness and well intentions inside of them, but I am making more effort to do inventory before over-extending myself. I hope that one day you can conquer the pain and free yourself.
Until you get to that moment, continue to walk in forgiveness and love, we still need that!