Importance of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is definitely worth practicing and it can help you a lot if you are struggling with depression and/or anxiety.
There are people who believe that once you forgive someone, it means that you are opening up your heart to get hurt again. That doesn’t have to be true. When you choose to forgive someone, letting them into your life again is a separate issue. Forgiveness has nothing to do with accepting that someone hurt you. It has nothing to do with accepting the pain. Forgiveness is about letting those feelings go so that you can move on from the past. Once you truly forgive, you could regain your freedom and you are not under constraints of hatred over that “unforgivable” thing. (Anything is forgivable. Remember, you are not accepting what happened, you are accepting that you can move past it). Use what happened to allow yourself to grow stronger.
When you don’t forgive someone for something they’ve done, whether it be something an old acquaintance said, maybe someone hurt you physically or something worse, the pain you feel when you think about it is often rooted by a type of anger that you are holding onto. Perhaps you felt that anger towards the person at the time of whatever mistake was made, and that anger decided to stick around.
Forgiving does not necessarily mean forgetting. Forgiving does not mean that you are going to let yourself get hurt again, it just means that you are not going to allow yourself to be hurt anymore by what hurt you originally. Even if we never truly forget what happened, it is still quite possible to let go of the pain.
Let’s look at it this way:
The past, present, and future are all connected in a line, yet they are still all separated.
You are not in the past. Yes, it is still there. The past is always going to be there. The past has happened and it cannot be changed. You’re going to remember some things that are both good and bad. You can accept that those things happened and move on past them. Why?
Because you are not in the past anymore. You are in the present.
You do not need to analyze what could possibly happen in the future anymore. You do not need to have anxiety about the future. You are not there yet.
You are still in the present.
Something happened in the past? It’s the past. You are not the past; you are not your past mistakes; you are not anyone else’s past mistakes. None of these things will ever define who you are as a person. You are in the present now. Everything that happened is in the past. That doesn’t mean it didn’t mean anything to you, but it’s important to understand that everyday is a new day.
Those words or actions that hurt you in the past do not have to hurt you or control your feelings anymore. Accept that you are not there anymore. You are in the present now. The past has passed and it’s not happening anymore.
If you are having trouble forgiving yourself about something you did, it’s important to remember the same principles of that being in the past. You are worth so much more than whatever is troubling you.
You can forgive. You can forgive and forget. You can forgive, but not forget. But remember that “forgetting” today and right now just means letting go of the pain of the unforgivable. You are a strong and courageous person. Tell yourself that you can overcome anything that has happened in your life, because it is true.
“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything
to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim-