Good morning!! Can you believe that we have only three more days of September and the 30 DSLR messages after today? With utmost sincerity, I hope these messages we have shared and discussed together brought good things your way. I look forward to reflecting on it for myself this Friday. Until then, let’s keep grooving and get to today’s message: forgiveness of others. And be sure to check out the weekend’s posts!
We have already discussed achieving the capacity to forgive ourselves as a means to self-love. I know many of us struggle with that, some of us more so than others. For me personally, I knew I could not forget to include forgiving others as well. Forgiving others played one of the biggest roles in my growth as a person and in the process of getting out of the negative treatment of myself. Emotions and hurt dictated my life and who I thought I was for too long. Being able to let those go helped me to move on and pursue my best life.
It is no secret that my father is the one I had to forgive. I openly share about our past and how greatly it affected the depression I felt and initiated my binging years. Yes, my family reads the blog and knows I will continue to openly share because I believe that my full disclosure can help others. Yes, my father knows how he made me feel. And yes, he knows I forgive him and will continue to forgive those times he hurts me and lets me down still (which those times come a lot lot less often).
I will never forget the things he said (that he despised me and to go ahead and kill myself) or did (punching me in the face on our family vacation). Despite those things, I still chose to forgive because I knew only then could I change my actions and treat myself the way I deserved. As my pastor says:
“Forgiveness doesn’t condone the behavior or mean you feel okay about what happened. Forgiveness is not a feeling, but an act of will to lay aside your right to retaliate and not allow the anger to control your life.”
Forgiveness holds great power. Having the capacity to forgive displays strength, compassion, and beauty. When you forgive, you make a statement of who you are. On the flip side, when you withhold forgiveness, you cling to anger, bitterness, and harsh feelings. Those build up inside of you and, with nowhere to go, often turn against you so you end up defeating yourself. Sometimes, we hold grudges against someone who doesn’t even know what they did bothers us. Sometimes they know, but simply don’t care. Why should we continue to feel such negativity in our lives and let the person who afflicted us continue on without a care? We can choose to not live in such a dark place. Forgiveness and letting go of the pain comes first.
Do you have trouble forgiving others? What do you think are the benefits (or negatives) of forgiving others? How have you seen forgiveness of others make your life better or worse?
Tags: self-love reflections