The Thanksgiving holiday period is now over. For some dear people in my life, they weren’t wonderful times. For many, the holidays are cold, dark, and lonely.
One friend mentioned the challenge of trying to forgive someone who’d hurt them and wouldn’t even acknowledge their actions.
I carried anger and bitterness for much of my life. In some cases I noticed that the people who had done things that led to my anger and bitterness–and refused to even acknowledge what they’d done–had gotten on with their lives while I was still mired in pain and worse.
Over time, I began to realize how much my feelings of hurt, anger, resentment, and bitterness were hurting me while not hurting them in any way. In some cases they may not have even thought about me for a long time.
So I did a hugely selfish thing. I forgave them. I refused to let their old actions have so much control over me anymore. I did it completely for myself. I kept focusing on myself and my needs rather than on their actions. I made it all about me.
Eventually, I was able to begin healing. Amazingly, at some point, I even began to notice that that I’d become a better person as a result.
Later still, I began to appreciate the “bad” events and betrayals, the lies and deceptions, for who and what the situations had helped me to become.
Stronger. More empathetic. Wiser. Kinder.
Those were MY choices and MY actions, and I was proud for having made and taken them.
I didn’t stop trusting people less, but myself more. I worked on myself, and focused on what I wanted most in my life.
At the top of my list was people who love, trust, and appreciate me for who I am. I had a lot of work to do on myself, but it got easier, and over time my relationships and world began to transform into something beautiful and magnificent, from one that had been lonely, dark, and cold.
I have much respect and empathy for anyone who struggles to forgive. I know it can be a big–sometimes huge–challenge, but I wish everyone who is in that place great success.
If you are hurting, I don’t know who hurt you or how badly, my friend. But I do know that I and many, many others wish good things for you, easing of your pain, and healing.
May you find what you seek and get what you need.