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I would like to talk about forgiveness today. It is one of the hardest things in our lives to do. Most of the time, if we are at a stage where we need to forgive it, is because someone has wronged us or hurt us. After it happens we have a tendency to sit around and ask why. Sometimes we do that physically and get some closure, but sometimes we do not have that opportunity. Sitting in anger and hurt doesn't help us move forward. We get stuck in the continued search for the answer to questions that may have no answer. We need to find a way to be okay with that.
Forgiveness is a hard thing to explain. Just like any other feeling it doesn't really come from the brain. It comes from the heart and can't be explained or taught, it just has to “be.” So how do we get there? There is no simple answer to the question. All I know is that it needs to be done and I have done it, so I am going to try and explain how I get to forgiveness and see if that helps you.
Where do I start? The first thing I do is try to pin down the one thing that caused me to feel hurt. I don't sit and place blame, but I try to figure out the one issue that took that big chunk out of me. Like with my divorce. I know he wronged me because I am deeply hurt. I cried a lot in the beginning and couldn't understand what happened or how it happened so fast. I tried not to look at the fact that he left. I tried to focus on why I was hurt. Why was I so upset that he left? Was it because I loved him so much? Was it because I felt like he didn't love me enough to stay and fight for the marriage? Was it because I had given so much to try and make it work and it didn't? Bingo! I wasn't upset because he left; I was actually upset because I felt like “I” had failed the marriage and I was angry at him because he made me feel like I had failed. Now that I identified the real issue, how do I get passed it to forgiveness?
The next thing I looked at is the reason. Why was I feeling like I had failed the marriage? I knew that I wasn't the only one involved here. There were two of us who made the decision, two of us responsible for it. Why did I feel like it was my fault? I started asking myself a lot of hard questions. Did I do everything I possibly could to make it work? I thought I had. The only thing I didn't do was give in to his requests to not fix the big issues and go back to how we were before they were discovered. That would have been easier, to ignore the issues. But the situations that had arisen in our marriage were too big to ignore. There was no way I could give up on trying to fix them. I saw that if we made it through we would be stronger in the end and both of us would be better people, together. We may need counseling to correct personality issues, but I was willing to do that together. He may have seen them as issues he couldn't correct and that made him not want to face them. I couldn't read his mind and still can't, so trying to answer his reasons for not fixing them was impossible. How do I move past the question of why he could not face them? This is going to sound like an easy answer, but it's really not. When you hit questions like this you need to learn to let it go. You can't predict what someone else will do or try to figure out what they were thinking. Our brains seem to want resolution and answers, reasons, but sometimes they can't be found. You need to tell your brain, convince it, that the answer is actually that there is simply no answer. It will help you reach forgiveness and get resolution for yourself.
Once you start to find these answers to your hard questions you will see that it gets easier to move forward. Each time it comes up in your brain you start to handle it better. One person I know actually took a piece of paper and wrote all the questions she had about the separation on it, and then burned it. That is how she let it go. After it is let go and things start to ease up then you need to say out loud. I forgive my ex-spouse. You can insert their name, this is a general statement. Word it how you want, you are still learning to forgive. Every time you start to feel angry again, take a deep breath and repeat the sentence. I know it sounds repetitive but like I said forgiveness is not always easy. You need to keep repeating it every time. You will find that after a while, that anger subsides, you are saying it less and less often and pretty soon you are moving forward with your life. Things will come back together, and your heart will begin mending. Pain from someone you cared about is like a sliver being embedded in your heart. If you get a sliver in your finger you remove it, right. That is what forgiveness does with this sliver in your heart. It helps remove it, so it doesn’t get infected and consume you. It helps your heart to heal and grow healthier.
Hopefully, this has helped you today. If you have any questions or comments you can email me at [email protected] or find me on Twitter or Facebook, I will answer you personally and we can learn and grow together. Thank you for stopping and please come back and see us again.