If You Have Forgiveness Then You Have Peace
Forgiveness is so challenging. When someone does something wrong, intentionally or unintentionally you use your perspective to understand it. You don’t think about their intention if it caused you pain or hurt of some kind, right?
The thing about forgiveness is people believe that if you forgive someone that removes the responsibility off them. People believe that if you forgive someone that means you must act as though nothing happened. People believe that if you forgive someone that means you must keep them in your life.
Forgiveness is about your inner peace and not allowing the other person to silently control your life. They aren’t giving it another thought yet you’re suffering.
When I was 16 a friend of mine and I went to her boyfriend’s house. He and his friend were just hanging out. They were both in college. That night I was raped for the first time. Yes, it happened to me multiple times by the time I was 18.
I struggled with the fact that I didn’t know what to do and I was ashamed to say anything to anyone. I feared people would treat me horribly and blame me for what happened. At that time, in the early 1990’s, every time I heard rape mentioned, the conversations around it seemed to be that it was the girls’ fault often. I hadn’t heard of much anything else. So, I kept it to myself. I don’t think I even told my friend that I was with. Anyway, about a month later we were at the college for a basketball game and he was walking up the bleachers with a girl. He acted as though we were friends. He walked up to me and said “Hey, how’s it going”? As if nothing happened.
It was in that moment that I realized that he hadn’t given what happened a second thought, he had to have believed he was not wrong in what he did. I don’t remember what I said back but I remember him giving me this look that proved to me he knew exactly what happened and he didn’t have any control over me anymore.
Yes, not so great things happen to us. I was able to forgive him for what he did to me because God says to. God says, “forgive them for they know not what they do”. I had to forgive him for his choices that hurt me so that I could start the healing process.
I don’t believe healing can come without forgiveness. I believe you must start the process of forgiveness while you are going through the process of healing. It takes time and intentional focus on a specific situation or moment. It is worth it.
You may be saying, that is great and all, but you don’t know my situation. Let me just say this isn’t even touching the iceberg of the trauma that was my life or what I have seen others in my life go through and overcome.
You can’t control what happens to you. You can control what you do next.
Don’t continue down that path of complaining, feeling sorry for yourself or expecting that anyone owes you anything. Most people will never take ownership for their actions. The important this is that you take responsibility for yours.
I hope this encourages you to take action in educating yourself.
Take some time to learn more about forgiveness. Do some research. For me this was the Bible. I looked up scriptures on forgiveness so I could understand it on a deeper level. It is important to exude love for those you are working towards forgiving. I encourage you to do the same. You can exude love for them without loving and condoning their actions.
One lesson that is difficult for me and one that I have been working on for years is that you can’t wait for someone to own their actions in order for you to forgive. You can distance yourself from others if their actions don’t show that they are going to treat you better, differently, etc.
Keep in mind that you are doing this in private. It is up to you at some point if you choose to tell them you forgive them.
While you are working on forgiveness please come back here and share the breakthroughs you are having.
Our community is here to support and encourage you on your journey.
Declare Your Truth ~ Live with Confidence
Dena S. Adams