There are going to be people in your life who will never admit to you what they have done. And there are going to be incidents you cannot forget. How do you reconcile when the thing you can’t forget was done by a person who can’t remember?
When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. ~Bernard Meltzer
There are a few things that have happened throughout my life that I will never be able to forget. Incidents that caused PTSD that stayed with me in drastic ways until last year when I finally addressed them to weaken the reactions to triggers. As I was going through therapy to address these situations, I came to realize that some of the things that were done to me were done during times of drunkenness so the other person would never remember beating me, speaking terrible things to me, or how they treated me during a time when they were supposed to love me. They were things done more than a twenty years ago in some cases and some from people who aren’t even alive anymore. I had to come to terms that these people would never be able to say, “I am sorry.”
Do you have situations like that in your life? Are there people you have been holding things against and because of it, you are suffering?
I didn’t realize until undergoing therapy exactly how much the hurt and lack of true forgiveness had affected me. Weight, shame, insecurity. Fear, lack of trust, self-sabotage. My goodness! All this and I had never realized I was the one slowly wasting away.
It’s time for us to understand that while we can hurt deeply and we can’t forget, there is a responsibility for us to forgive. Especially if we are Christians.
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. ~Matthew 5:22-24
Did you read that? If we are about to give a gift to God and we remember a fault we are holding against someone we are to STOP and go settle things. Forgiving is more important than giving a gift to God. Is that safe to say? That’s a wild thought! God cares more about me living with a heart free of judgment toward others than He does about me offering Him a gift.
Nothing more really needs to be said when we see this scripture and live as Christians. If you have been thinking of someone throughout this post… forgive them. And if you can’t tell them because they aren’t here, write them a letter and get the feelings out on paper as if you could speak to them and then rip it up as a symbol of letting go of all that you held against them.
If you aren’t a Christian, I still think it’s so important to forgive and allow yourself freedom to move on from the incident and to heal. I did this through therapy and a lot of self-exploration. It helped me deeply and maybe it’s an avenue for you to explore too? Let’s make 2019 the year we rise above those who hurt us and the situations meant to keep us down.