Forgiving: Why It’s Hard & Why It’s Necessary

We’ve all felt hurt, betrayed, misjudged, cheated, insulted, taken for granted or abused at a point in our lives. It sucks when people we trust hurt us, believe me I know, I’ve been there and it has made me angry and sometimes very sad. Our reactions to being wronged are different. Some people pretend it never happened, some people plan their revenge, some people are neutral – perhaps numb, and some people find it difficult to move on.

Forgiveness is a conscious and intentional effort to let go of something someone did that hurt you. Forgiving requires work; it is not easy especially when the person you have to forgive isn’t even sorry. Though forgiveness is not easy, it is recommended because it brings you peace. Keeping all that anger in you makes you ugly. It’s better to say exactly how you feel, clear the air and move on.

“If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive.” – Mother Teresa

Be honest, have you ever stayed mad at someone even after you have told them you forgive them? Sometimes, you may think you have forgiven someone but you realize you can’t help but think about what they did. You say you’re okay and everything is cool but you’re barely talking and your mind is away thinking about what they did.

Forgiveness does not mean you are pardoning or excusing the other person’s actions. Neither does it mean you should forget the incident ever happened. By forgiving, you are accepting the reality of what happened and finding a way to live in a state of resolution with it. It is important to note that above all, forgiveness is something you do for yourself.

To start forgiving anyone, you must first believe that forgiveness is possible and that it is up to you to forgive. It needs to be something you are drawn to that you want to do. Forgiving someone you have to see or talk to every day is not as easy as forgiving someone that isn’t present in your life and you don’t have to deal with. For the former, you have to keep shoving down the thought that the person may do the same thing again which is really hard. It’s a lot of work but it’s something that can be done.

However, it is critical to remember that forgiveness doesn’t automatically mean a reconciliation. We don’t have to return to the same relationship or accept the same harmful behaviours from someone who has hurt us. Sometimes, it may be the situation someone put us in that hurts us. Other times, it may be that person’s character.

Nonetheless, forgiveness is necessary to move on. It helps you heal and it sets you free. Every religion preaches about it and the holy books encourage it. The reality of life is that people mess up and you shouldn’t let a mistake ruin everything. Remember, no one is perfect including you.

Thanks for reading.

Mariam Shittu