It can feel like the most impossible thing to forgive someone who’s done you wrong, especially if it’s someone that has shown you that they are trustworthy in the past.
It has happened to all of us before. It comes as a shock. It makes you doubt your own judgement, and wonder if you were the one at fault for trusting them in the first place.
Throughout my entire life, I’ve always heard the cliché that forgiveness is more for you than the other person. I used to scoff and think about how the other person would benefit. How could forgiveness be for me? It won’t make me feel better to let them off the hook. It would mean they won.
It’s easy to forget that the people around us are going through things the same way that we are. I have a tendency to expect the people around me to be perfect, even when I don’t know them and their struggles very well. When I mess up, I usually justify my actions (or lack thereof) by explaining something else that caused it. Last week, I was late to work because there was unexpected traffic. Seems justifiable, right?
Now think of traffic as a huge obstacle in someone’s life. Take a minute to consider that the person you’re upset with might be going through something major in their life that could affect the way that they are treating you. If that person can admit that the way that they acted was wrong, what’s the point of continuing to be angry?
I’ve held a fair amount of grudges. It’s not fun. Holding onto anger from years ago has not been beneficial to me at all. It hasn’t made me stronger, it hasn’t made me wiser, and it hasn’t made me happier. It’s made me more bitter, more pessimistic, and it has made me speak ill of people that probably have changed a lot since whatever happened that made me so angry.
Forgiveness truly is for you. It’s for you to let go of some of the negativity that you are holding on to. God knows we have enough of that around us, why make more? Why burn bridges that don’t necessarily need to be burned just because a person made a poor choice?
There has probably been a time in your life that you made a mistake and someone you love forgave you for it. I know that I have been blessed with amazing friends that have forgiven me for being tough to be around at times.
With that said, there are certain relationships that don’t need to be mended. You can still forgive someone that did you wrong without keeping them in your life. In fact, in many cases, it is much healthier to keep your distance from some people. You can still forgive someone that you no longer speak to. To me, the most important part of forgiveness is letting go of anger that you feel towards someone. Forgiveness is for you and your well-being. Not necessarily for the benefit of someone else.
At the end of the day, we are all human. We all make mistakes. Grudges are exhausting, and nobody needs them. Forgive the people that do you wrong and let yourself be at peace whether they’re by your side or not.