“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”Lewis B. Smedes
Throughout our lives we meet many people, some who we hold very close to our hearts and some who hurt us on every level. In some cases, its the people who we love who can hurt us the most. This is particularly the case in romantic relationships, especially when you find out your partner is cheating on you with someone after being together for many, many years. This kind of betrayal hits us to the core, so much so it can cause us to feel unwanted emotions of anger, rage, sadness and revenge. This what we feel when someone who is dear to our hearts, breaks our sense of emotional security and trust. Infidelity is possibly one of the hardest things to forgive someone for, as well as letting it go and moving forward in your love life.
The trouble with the feelings of revenge, despair and anger; is that it doesn’t resolve the issue or the pain it has caused you – it actually makes the pain much worse to extremities, even. When you allow yourself to let go and forgive, you naturally open up your heart to new opportunities and people, which is a good thing and it is also good for your overall health and emotional wellbeing. However, in some scenarios, forgiveness may not be the right option especially when someone has abused you in any kind of way.
The best thing to do is to get justice, let go and move on slowly with the assistance of a professional. When you’ve been in an abusive relationship; you can be at risk of developing mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety and depression. This is the reason why it is very important to seek out professional help, as these mental health conditions can have a drastic affect on someone’s daily life.
In much less serious cases, learning the art of forgiveness can help us develop compassion, empathy and kindness for others. It can also teach us to become more kind and nurturing to ourselves, which has many benefits to our overall health and wellbeing. I believe that the most understated form of forgiveness is self forgiveness, because it allows us to completely accept ourselves during states of emotional crisis and turmoil, without beating ourselves up emotionally or have frequent episodes of self victimisation and self pity.
When you learn to forgive yourself more, over time you will begin to become more accepting of others and their mistakes, as well as understand them much more on a deeper level. We humans have high expectations on others, and even more so on ourselves to be flawless and perfect; when in reality we need to let go of those ideals and become more compassionate, kind and accepting.
We live in a world now that expects everyone to be highly successful, and in some ways it’s a good thing – but it can only go to a certain point before we start feeling like we’re not good enough or successful enough in the eyes of others. This pressure can lead to anxiety, depression and suicidal tendencies, particularly in young people who are in compulsory, further or higher education. Throughout school life, we are expected to get top marks in many subjects by a certain time, which can be extremely stressful and overwhelming for many students.
Always remember that it is completely okay to not to get perfect marks all the time or fail at something. It doesn’t show you are incapable, but it shows that you put a certain amount of effort in to your best ability. So let go of your perfectionism and start seeing the beauty of imperfections. It’s these imperfections that make you – you, and that is a very beautiful thing.
Making mistakes in life is the way we all learn and grow to become our best and evolved selves, and without them we wouldn’t be the people we are today. If we lived in a world of perfection and complete utopia, no one would know how to deal upheaval or recover from it, no matter how major or minor it is.
So allow yourself to be more accepting and forgiving and embrace the power of forgiveness. Remember, doing this will make you a stronger and kinder person, not a weak person. It takes a lot of courage and emotional strength to forgive someone or ourselves for that matter. Always remember that.
Thank you so much for reading.