From a young age I have been taught to "forgive and forget."
Through the years, no matter how much I wanted to, I struggled with allowing myself to forgive one person in particular. As much as I have kept telling myself not to hold a grudge and to let things go, the feelings of anger toward this person would continue to surface. Rather than mending the wounds through communication and forgiveness, talking about these issues with her would backfire within my own mind and cut even deeper still.
This person has brought out emotions of anger and guilt within me through the years that in all other aspects of my life I can cast aside, yet with her, they continue to bubble up. Yes, I still love her and she will always be an important part of my life, but still, I have had the hardest time forgiving her. The words exchanged between us have caused a guilt within me that has in turn caused me to end valuable relationships with people that were nothing but kind to me, simply to make her happy. This is where I have struggled the most. The guilt she brought upon me caused me to feel even more guilt and shame toward myself and toward the people that I have loved and lost in order to satisfy and justify her words.
I would like to believe that this person is ignorant to how her words and actions have hurt me through the years, that she has unintentionally brought me down and that I shouldn't let it bother me so much because really, she is simply trying her best to get through life just as we all are.
I recently came across two quotes by Dr. Steve Maraboli that really hit close to home for me:
“The truth is, unless you let go,
unless you forgive yourself,
unless you forgive the situation,
unless you realize the situation is over,
you cannot move forward.”
“Forgiveness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on.”
There is this saying that we need to act rather than react. In the case of my relationship with this person, the action would be to forgive. Where I have gone wrong all these years is in my reaction. Instead of simply forgiving, letting go, and moving on, I would react with anger, guilt, and shame, never allowing myself to let go of the situation. Through the years I would continue to let the cycle of these harmful emotions take their toll on me and continue to beat myself up over the situation.
As I have continuously been “working on myself”, on my own well-being and self-transformation through the lessons life has given me throughout my journey, I have learned that before I can love and forgive others, I must first learn how to love and forgive myself. I must let go of the negativity that has kept its firm grip on me, recognize where I went wrong, let go of the past and move on. As I forgive myself I am able to forgive her, feeling and recognizing a sense of freedom, love and gratitude within my mind, heart, and soul. <3