Life can be tough, and love can be tougher. Doing both well is bound to put you in a position of offence where everyone can potentially inflict injury. Your family. Friends. Trusted leader. The government. The issue is not who will offend us, but how we tend to deal with the hurt. Forgiveness is a strange concept for the bleeding heart.
Naturally, our tendency to righteously hold on to our sense of truth and justice. But living outside of forgiveness can also hold you back. From affecting your peace to creating an internally toxic environment. My own life has taught me that it is better to forgive and let go. Of course, it’s always hard at the beginning. But I’m always better off taking that route.
This year, as I plan to practice more intentional forgiveness, I have shared a few ways I have learned to navigate that complex situation.
Give people room to be human. I’m not saying you should open your heart for people to continually stab it. What I’m saying is the probability of you hurting someone despite your best efforts is most likely quite high. This means others will hurt you too, despite their own best efforts, because we’re all flawed. So understand that getting your feelings hurt is a part of life. And that people aren’t perfect. Intentionally or unintentionally they will hurt you. And when they do, most of the time it has more to do with them than you. The more you understand how flawed we all are as humans, the easier it will be for you to overlook some things. Of course, according to your discretion because not all things should be overlooked. Then the next step is to communicate and in doing so, set boundaries.
Communicate and Set Boundaries
Some people may know exactly what they’re doing when they offend you but you’ll be surprised to find out that many just don’t know. What is a harmful joke to you may be seen as harmless by the person telling it. You have to communicate. Let people know their actions or words didn’t sit well with you. If you keep sweeping it under the carpet, one day you may explode or completely overreact and that won’t be a pretty sight.
If the person keeps intentionally doing the same thing to you over and over again, even after having the conversation/s then that becomes toxicity and it may be time to give that person some space or cut them off.
You can’t keep waiting for the person who hurt you to explain themselves or the situation. They may not even want to talk to you. And unfortunately, no one owes you anything, you’re responsible for your own happiness and peace of mind. So if you don’t get the sit-down or audience you require, make peace with yourself, truly let go and move on.
Forgiveness, most times, is in your best interest. You no longer give the other person power over you. It’s tough at first because you may really want closure or even revenge. But these things won’t necessarily give you the peace you seek. Make the choice to forgive and every time you see the person and that lump in your throat forms or your heart starts palpitating, remind yourself that you’ve forgiven the person. Repeat it over and over to yourself. Eventually, your heart will catch up with your mind.