Have you ever been hurt by someone else’s choices? Someone who refused to take accountability for what they had done. Amazed by the fact that they could walk away with no remorse. As if nothing happened. Has the anger of not forgiving started to consume you? Do you want to be free from that burden?
Has the anger of not forgiving started to consume you? Do you want to be free from that burden?
During my first marriage, there was a lot of pain. I have no doubt that there was pain on both sides. The old adage that “hurt people hurt people”.
I look back and there were many arguments left unfinished. Conversations left silent like a ghost town. Never to be spoken or visited again.
Still to this day I try to make sense of it all. I try to understand why things happened the way they did.
I have lists of whys:
Why wasn’t I good enough for him? Why would he cheat on me? Why would he tell me he was committed? His actions didn’t show commitment. Why would he tear me down with words?
Why? Why? Why? Obsessive thoughts, so many unanswered questions.
The whys used to be so upsetting. I couldn’t make sense of them.
When someone shows up after they have hurt us and they take accountability, forgiveness is simple. I think most of us want to forgive. We want to believe in the good in others.
My question for you is how do we forgive when there is no apology? When we are left with all those unanswered questions.
I learned that this type of forgiveness is not easy. I learned that not forgiving is more painful for you than it is for the person who performed the offense. I also know that I did not do it alone.
I have four recommendations that helped me forgive my ex-husband.
1) I had to recognize that not forgiving him was no longer hurting him, it was hurting me
- If we stay resentful, angry, and bitter it is like sitting down in the middle of a swamp. The swamp is full of dangerous creatures that can and will hurt us. The longer we set there the deeper we will sink into the muck at the bottom. Worry, depression, and obsessive thoughts will steal our peace. The world will lose it’s color
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to discover that the prisoner was you.” ~Lewis B. Smedes
2) I had to stop seeing him as an object and start seeing him as a person
- I thought of him as a child who was hurting and in pain. This allowed me to have compassion and empathy for his hardships.
3) Stay on top of the pain
- When you are feeling pain from what happened, sit in the pain and recognize it for what it is. Release the pain in a healthy way. Write an anger letter. Scream into a pillow. Call a trusted friend and cry. Don’t try to run from it. Somehow it will always catch up with you.
4) Ask God for the strength and the power to forgive
- My ex-husbands choices had caused me so much pain and suffering. I didn’t have the power within myself to forget all of those unanswered whys. I asked my heavenly father to start healing my mind and my heart. I asked him to help ease the burden I carried and to show me how to forgive.