Are you having challenges forgiving someone in your life? Have you tried and it just keeps coming back? We all have someone in our life that has hurt us and we have trouble letting it go. My first husband years ago left me for another woman and I was six months pregnant. He walked out for good and did not want to take responsibility for being a father. I was left alone to raise my son. I had help from my very supportive family, but I was so bitter and angry for 2 years, that I had trouble moving on with my life.
I realized over time that He could care less about me and what I was going through. I wanted him to feel the pain that he had caused me and I wanted him to suffer. Through reading and therapy, I realized that I was developing a victim mentality and not taking responsibly for my life. I was giving all my power away to him, somehow thinking I was making him pay for what he did, but in reality I was the one reliving the pain everyday.
I heard recently that not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and then expecting them to die. Forgiving means accepting the pain that the person has caused us, letting go of bitterness and anger and moving on. It is like getting hit by a car and getting a broken leg. We can blame the driver all we want, but we are responsible for accepting the situation, knowing that life is not fair, and then making the best of it. Through the pain of life not always being fair, we grow and mature. Never let the reason for difficulty be an excuse for helplessness.
Forgiving is not easy and it is an act of the will. We have to choose to forgive and accept the pain the other person has caused us. We cannot forget, but we can choose to forgive and move on with our lives and learn from the experience. For every tragedy in our lives, there is a window of opportunity.
I would not want to go through the pain, I went through, when my first husband left, again, but looking back, I would not change the experience for anything. I learned so much about myself through the process of taking responsibility for my life and realizing that pain can be good, because we develop the tools we need to grow and manage life better. I am much more confident and I know that I can survive enormous amount of pain and survive. I have chosen to be free and not live my life in bondage to bitterness and unforgiveness.
Vickie Parker, MFT