Q: Why should I forgive someone for what they have done to me when I still feel angry with them?
A: Forgiveness is a powerful gift that you give yourself. Period.
It’s not about letting another person off the hook, or forgetting what they did to you. It’s about bringing about peace of mind so that you may let go of resentments and learn any lessons that were meant for you. This may mean letting go of a relationship completely or it may mean redefining it. Either way, just remember that forgiveness is for you and no one else.
First, don’t try to sugarcoat the offense, see it for all that it is. Second, step up and take your responsibility for your part in the situation. Are you willing to see your part in it? Difficulties that arise in any relationship are rarely one-sided. Even if your part was to allow what you never deserved in the first place, we do teach people how to treat us. Once you are in this place of clarity about the situation begin to ask yourself can I accept this? If the answer is yes, then you may be able to move through it with the relationship still intact by reestablishing boundaries, asking for a sincere apology, and making your needs and voice heard. If the answer is no, then it’s time for the heavy lifting.
Iyanla VanZant said, “Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have happened any differently” It’s truly not about the person it’s about the situation. When we cannot accept, we must allow. Allow the feelings, the grief, the intensity just as it is and be willing to feel and let it move through you. Ask yourself how it has helped you, what has it taught you, showed you, what will be different for you now? There are always lessons available to us if we choose to see it that way. Staying stuck in a place or resentment and unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to suffer from it. The resentment is the poison and you are drinking it by holding on. The other person may or may not be affected at all and that’s not our part of the journey. Trust that you will know when it’s time to move forward and let the freedom of forgiveness propel you on that journey.