Forgiveness. Wow, that’s a touchy subject for most people. A simple word that carries so many feelings with it… anger, sadness, relief.
Years before I met my husband, I dated a man whom I cared a lot about. I’m hesitant now to say that I loved him because I never really knew what true love was until I met my husband. I dated this man for almost 3 years and we had plans to get married. Then the day came where all that trust and love fell through the cracks. I found out that he had another girl in another state that he was trying to figure out if he still had feelings for and if he still had something with. When I found this out, I was crushed, like most people would have been.
After I broke it off, I found myself trying to go through all the phases to “get over” it. I went through sadness first and was so hurt and sad for what seemed like forever. But then that was followed by anger. I was so angry with him. I had unanswered questions and no closure and I think that’s what kept the anger raging within me for so long. Months passed, and then those months turned into years. I remember seeing friends or family of his in public and I would turn and walk the other way. I didn’t want to face them. I didn’t want to talk to them. I didn’t want to have anything to do with anyone that was important to him. I just had so much anger that I couldn’t let go of. I couldn’t get passed it.
I remember a couple of years went by and I hadn’t seen or talked to him or anyone that associated with him. And I hadn’t thought about him or our past. I remember I was at my house and I was watching a movie by Tyler Perry (a play of his actually) and he was talking to one of the girls at the end about how she needed to keep on dating and never give up and he said a sentence to her that has stuck with me ever since. It touched home for me. He said, when someone can walk into a room and completely change your mood, that person has power over you. Pretty strong sentence, if you ask me.
If you really forgive someone they won’t have power over you anymore. Power. Think about that. If you’re out somewhere with some friends, at a party having a good time, and someone walks into that room, and you see them, and your whole mood shifts from happy to something else, that person controls you. I had never really thought of it like that before. But that’s how I still felt about my old boyfriend. I couldn’t even speak his name. I hadn’t forgiven him. I thought that I had, but not completely.
Forgiveness is not for the other person, forgiveness is for you. Sometimes I think we hold on to things too long and we don’t realize the damage that it’s doing to us deep down. We hold on to that anger and hate and we think that whatever someone has done to us is too bad for us to forgive them. There’s nothing that someone else can do to me that I would rather hold on to for years and years and let them have that power over me. I have to let it go. If I want to move on in my life and not carry that heavy burden with me, I have to let go of it. It’s not worth it. I also think we don’t realize the impact that it has on the people around us that are in our lives. We block off and keep people out or from getting close to us because of our past…because of things that we don’t let go of. Forgiveness is not for the other person, forgiveness is for you.