Ah, forgiveness. It's hard to forgive, right? What makes difficult is believing that by forgiving, I'm justifying the other person's actions. So we cling to resentment (made up of many feelings) to the point that it becomes a heavy burden ... very, very heavy, which we decide not to let go of because by letting go we would "invalidate" what the other person has done.
Many times we can spend years in this dynamic waiting for the other to apologize and make amends. But what if he/she doesn't? Or if he/she does it but not the right way? Randy Pausch used to say that a bad apology is worse than no apology. Our lives can go by waiting for the bad apology to become good or waiting for the apology that won't ever come, giving others the responsibility for how we feel and that's not fair for them and less for us.
Something very interesting is the false belief that forgiveness is synonym for reconciliation. I can forgive someone but wanting to return to that relationship is very different. In addition, reconciliation also depends on the other person and we cannot control that. Forgiving also implies having an adequate self-concept because we can only understand that the other makes mistakes by accepting that we make them, knowing that this doesn't make us more or less of a person.
So, how do we forgive then? The first thing is to speak about it. Remember that pretending nothing is wrong doesn't magically disappear problems. If we don't have the possibility or we simply don't want to talk about it with the other person, it's okay, because forgiving is an individual act. Sometimes we forgive without the other knowing, talking about it with ourselves. We have to allow ourselves to feel the pain; that pain that hides through resentment. Let's not be afraid of being vulnerable, we all are. Only by feeling the pain I can heal it. And finally, decide to let go, yes, as you read it, decide because it's a decision even though it may not seem like it. As they say, pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.
Today I invite you to let go, regardless of whether the other deserves it or not, you deserve it. But really let go, without expectations, open to what may happen, remembering that forgiving does not mean that things go back to the way they were before, since not everyone who enters our life is here to stay. And it's okay. Really.
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