Before you read any further, take a moment to think about the word forgiveness. How does that word make you feel?
If you have suffered trauma in your life, then you have likely been told you need to practice forgiveness at some point along your journey. If so, how did you react? Maybe you turned your back on the idea. Perhaps you even scowled at the thought. Or, maybe you just balled it all up inside and let the thought of granting forgiveness fuel your anger.
Believe it or not, forgiveness isn’t all that scary. In fact, the act of forgiveness can leave you with a sense of freedom that you have been searching for a long time to find.
Don’t fear forgiveness
Forgiveness is not easy. If it was, then forgiveness would be granted all the time without a second thought. Instead, it is complex and something most people dwell on at great length. Whether they believe that forgiveness isn’t deserved, hasn’t been earned, or the words just won’t come out – it rarely ever happens quickly.
Don’t fear forgiveness. It is hard to not fear something that we don’t think we are capable of. Consider climbing Mt. Everest, being thrown into a starring role on Broadway, or scoring a huge promotion at work. If you don’t have the confidence to face and conquer these tasks, you will find your knees shaking with fear.
Telling yourself you are going to forgive the person or persons who caused you so much pain and sorrow in your life may just be enough to send you running in the opposite direction.
Don’t let it.
It is about you
Your trauma may have left you with a destroyed sense of trust, love, self-worth, and so much more. When it comes from the hand of someone close to you, there is an even greater sense of betrayal that encompasses the pain.
Remember, the need for forgiveness is for yourself – not for the perpetrator. Forgiving someone is not saying that what he or she did is okay – and that you are over it. So, by granting forgiveness, you are not excusing the actions nor are you condoning them. Instead, you are healing yourself.
Forgiveness should not be feared, rather it should be viewed as a positive outcome that requires some strength and guts to obtain. But there is no set time-frame when you should forgive. And, taking longer than someone else is completely normal. Having difficulty finding the ability to even forgive at all is not uncommon, either.
Just know that once you take the step to forgive… your life will forever be changed.
The power of the phrase, I forgive you
Has anyone ever told you the phrase, I forgive you, for something you may have done, big or small? If so, you know how it made you feel on the receiving end.
But, did you know that the best part of that phrase – the part with the most power – comes from the person saying it?
Coming to a place in your life when you can finally forgive someone for the pain they caused you – and verbally speaking the phrase, “I forgive you,” - can leave you feeling an immense amount of peace. The weight that has been sitting on your shoulders for years will suddenly feel lighter – or may even disappear altogether. And all that anger and hurt and harbored feelings of ill will may slowly begin to be viewed through a different light.
I forgive you is a life-changing phrase that those who have experienced trauma need to find the ability to say. Maybe not now, not tomorrow, or even next year. But, one day.
Reach for forgiveness
Whatever your reaction to forgiveness, you need to reach for it. You are here because you are trying to overcome trauma and find a sense of peace, right?
Forgiveness is a crucial step in your journey.
You have felt the hurt and the pain. You have struggled through the emotions and the scars left behind by the trauma. And, you have slowly started to re-build a safety net around your life to give yourself the life you deserve. To feel fully free, however, you will need to let go – and forgive.
Trauma can be debilitating. And, the only person that can help you step above it is – you. Not your friend, not your family, and not your enemy. Only you. As you work through your journey of self-love, growth, and healing, you are going to come to a place that requires forgiveness. This is a personal step that will bring peace into your life.
Don’t waste another minute being stuck holding on to these horrid emotions and heavy chains.
To talk more about forgiveness or spark a conversation about your situation, let me lend an ear. Get in touch today.
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