Forgiveness: It’s All About You
The first thing I hear when the topic of forgiveness comes up, “well you don’t know what they did” or “you don’t understand” among other things. Forgiveness is not about you accepting substandard behavior, or allowing yourself to be treated less than. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person, it’s all about you! I’m sure you have heard the quote “Holding on to unforgiveness is liken to drinking poison, and waiting for someone else to die.”
Let’s look at four essential steps we should all be willing to take towards forgiveness and healing. They are not rocket science or complicated algorithms. We can implement them in our lives if we choose to.
1. Make the first move:
I acknowledge the fact that making the first move is not what we, by nature, want to do. We want to seek vengeance, eye for an eye, and them getting what they deserve. However, making the first move puts us in the driver’s seat and gives us the power to determine which direction this is going to lead. Some may view making the first move as an act of cowardice, but I see it as a bold move. It takes courage and a level of fortitude to be able to go against everything your mind, will and emotions are telling you to do.
One of my favorite
scripture is Proverbs 4:23(NIV) - “Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.” What the writer is trying to communicate to us is that whatever emotion or feeling we hold on to they will absolutely influence how we exist in our spaces. “Above all else” means this is the most important thing right now, so do not miss this. Therefore, acknowledge what you feel because ignoring and stuffing your emotions does not make any of it go away. Figure out a strategy to process, or reach out to a coach, counselor or trusted friend to help you process objectively.
3. Take a breath, then take next steps:
Taking a breath can look like praying, sleeping on it or consulting with a trusted source. It’s not an overnight process or a quick fix and you won’t feel much different, you might even feel worse; because there is some turmoil that may begin to surface as we wrestle with doing what’s right versus what we feel like doing. Therefore, give yourself some time to understand and acknowledge what you are actually facing. Your next steps become more intentional and purposeful.
4. Decide what you will look like on the other side of it – control the narrative:
Truth always wins; it may take some time but it wins. Keep in mind, none of this is about the other person. This is your reputation, your truth, your heart condition – it’s okay and perfectly normal to feel anger and disgust when you have been wronged, but what now? Will the narrative be that you reacted out of character, or will it be you controlled your emotions and came away with your heart in a good place? We all want the latter.
Forgiveness brings healing with it, and it’s only a decision away. If you find yourself in a place where forgiveness is hard for you, reach out to us here at Coach4Life www.coach4lifellc.com we have an amazing staff with tools to help you on your journey towards healing.