Sometimes it’s hard to see why it is important to forgive. Especially when we were hurt, manipulated, or taken advantage of. We’ve all heard that it is important to forgive, but why?
Doesn’t forgiving someone mean that you are excusing their bad behavior? Saying it’s ok opens us up to being hurt again, right?
These are all valid questions, questions I myself have asked. However, now that I am on the other side of forgiveness in some areas of my life, I understand why it is so important to forgive.
I hated my dad for a very long time. He wasn’t the dad I wanted while I was growing up, and I channeled most of my teenaged, hormone-fueled, passionate anger at him. I felt so deeply wronged by his behavior, and I was going to make him pay for it.
Or so I thought. As it turns out, my hatred towards him was very painful for him. He felt tremendous guilt and disappointment in himself for not being around more. However, remorse on the other person’s part is not a requirement for forgiveness.
This isn’t just a story about how I forgave my dad. It’s a story about how we forgave each other and changed the course of our relationship.
As I progressed along my personal development journey, it became clear to me that I no longer wanted to carry around the painful, heavy baggage of hating my father. It took a lot of energy, carrying all of that weight, and it didn’t give me back anything worthwhile in return.
“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.”-Marianne Williamson
So I began learning about forgiveness. And the most important thing that I found out was that forgiving him was for me, not for him. In the end, I didn’t forgive him so that he would feel ok about being absent while I was growing up. I forgave him so that I could heal those old wounds in me, and move on.
Now, of course what he did wasn’t ok. And, if he felt no remorse, it would have been even more important to forgive him. Because in that scenario, I would be the only one thinking about it. The only one keeping that pain alive.
It Is Important to Forgive So That You Can Be Free
When I finally put down that last piece of hateful baggage, it was amazing how free I felt. That hatred was not good for my soul. It was really hurting me. I was really hurting myself when I continued to perpetuate those old childhood hurts.
The beautiful thing is, my dad and I have a great relationship today. It’s different than what I wanted as a kid because we are both adults now, but because I was able to forgive him, (and he was able to forgive me), I got a second chance at having him as my dad. And this has been incredibly healing for both of us.
Oftentimes, the deepest wounds come from those who we love most. From those who were supposed to protect us, and at the very least, love us back. It is so important to forgive, because forgiveness is the only way to repair that relationship, should you choose to.
And if that’s not in the cards for you, forgive them for yourself, so that you can be whole again. Hate is heavy, and creates a black spot on your soul. It consumes your energy, and colors your chances of loving others. A hateful heart is not the ideal ingredient for healthy relationships.
We Forgive By Letting Go
In order to do this, begin by believing that it is important to forgive. Once you’ve done that, the action of letting go will come much more easily. The payoff is high, so don’t spend one more moment in pain, hating another. You can be free form that bondage. And all you have to do is believe you can forgive, and let it go.
We’ll talk more about letting go in another article. Until then, please like and share this article so that more people can learn about the importance of forgiveness.
And feel free to comment below with your experience with forgiving. We love hearing from you!
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