The Art Of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is truly an art. It takes time and practice to get it right. Sometimes you think you have finally let something go or forgiven someone, then something happens and that instance or mistake is all you can think about.
Many of us have been hurt by many different people during our lives including strangers, acquaintances, colleagues, friends and even family. It can be tough to keep soldiering on with all of that hurt. That is why forgiveness is essential, because it frees not only the person who hurt you, but yourself as well. The closer the person is to you that has somehow betrayed your trust, the deeper the hurt. Yet the closer the relationship also increases the need for forgiveness in order to salvage the bond . Forgiving someone and their actions frees you from reliving the pain from old wounds and sacrificing the future of your relationship.
There are many personal instances that spring to my mind in an instant if I let it of times when I have been completely hurt to the core. An example of this happened in my final year of college when my roommate (and best friend) seemingly turned over night. Our 3 year friendship was over in one hour because of a random quarrel after a late night. We were too young and immature to work things out in a civil manner and I ended up moving out almost immediately. We haven’t spoken since and I often wonder how she is doing because she was a great friend. The fact that I still recount this instance over ten years later shows that maybe I am still working on forgiving her or mourning the loss of the friendship.
Relationships are difficult. Romantic, family, friendly and working relationships all require a level of forgiveness. People make mistakes and if they sincerely ask for forgiveness should be granted a second chance. I am sure that you can count a few times when you made a mistake and were glad when the hurt recipient forgave you. This doesn’t mean that you need to forgive every person who has wronged you; sometimes the mistakes others make are actually just their normal behavior. If you do not like the way someone acts or treats you repeatedly, do not dwell on it and move on. When a person hurts you it is a good time to reflect upon the relationship. What does the relationship truly mean to you? Does this person provide positivity to the relationship? This can help you decipher true friends from others, and can help you to figure out who is worth working out the relationship problems.Being on the receiving end of a mean comment or harsh act can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to destroy your relationship or consume you. Allow yourself time to process what has happened and go through the motions of forgiveness including talking it out and moving on.
Forgiveness is also a very important skill that we should teach our children starting at a young age. Teaching the acts of apologizing, feeling sorry, and letting things go will give your child the basic building blocks to forgiveness. It is also important to teach them how to move past from the hurt others have caused them and forgive. Hopefully by learning and teaching how to forgive the good relationships in our lives will thrive as we learn more about each other and grow.
How are you teaching your children about forgiveness?