Have your ever been hurt by someone?
Has anyone ever caused serious injury to you either emotionally, mentally or physically?
Are you or any of your family a victim of a heinous crime?
You are not alone. At some point of our lives, we had experienced hurt caused by our loved ones, friends, and even people whom we are not acquainted with. Although some have found a way to forgive their offenders but many of us are still trapped in brokenness and forgiveness seems to be the last thing we ever will do; let alone cursing and wanting evil to happen to our offenders.
When we have been hurt, all we wanted to know is the reason why the hurtful action or words were directed at us. Many times we ask questions such as:
“Why did he do that to me? I’m innocent!”,
“I don’t deserve to be treated like this at all, why did it happen to me and not to others?,
“I thought we are good friends, but how could someone did that to a good friend?”
Some may be bold enough to confront their offenders and seek answers. While others rather not see their offenders again in their lifetime and the unfound answer to their “why” questions will only deepen their brokenness.
The step to forgiveness is even harder for those who have been abused physically where their scars remain a constant prove of injustice done to them. For some, the offenders have been caught and are now serving jail terms. Yet for others, their perpetrators are still looming around freely; victimizing more people.
Whether you have been emotionally, mentally or physically hurt by someone, and you have not forgiven the offender, please stop living in brokenness. Allow yourself to live a life of fullness and happiness. We may think that if we forgive our offenders, it will only let them know that what they have done is acceptable and we don’t hold them guilty anymore. Also, if our offenders know we have forgiven them, they may see no wrong in what they did and continue hurting us.
Well, let me share with you another perspective. It is not how the offender reacts that matters. It is how you choose to react to the hurt caused. Whether the offender seeks forgiveness from us and lives the rest of their lives feeling guilty, or the offender has no sense of humanity in the wicked act done, it does not matter. What really matter is how you take control of your life, not allowing your offender to ruin it.
It is never easy. We all have tried to forgive but at times we let our anger dictate our willingness to forgive. This simply means that if we are still angry at our offenders, we should not forgive them “now” but sometime “later” when the anger is gone. Such a day will never come until we deal with ourselves first.
Start forgiving in layers. Many of us think that once you forgive, you are healed completely and your anger will be gone forever. This is not true. We have to keep forgiving until the day you no longer feel angry or hurt about the offense. While doing that, you are also allowing yourself to release the pain which otherwise will be kept inside for as long as you choose not to forgive. For some, forgiveness takes weeks, and for others, it may take years. The time it takes to completely forgive a person does not matter. It is the time you begin forgiving that changes your life.
Talk to someone and share your feelings. If you think forgiving your offender may be too huge a burden to begin with, talk to a close friend, your spouse, family member, or anyone you can confide in. As you share the incident and hurts to someone, you are being heard and empathized. This is one of the major factors that make forgiveness possible. All you need is to validate your hurts and have someone understand what you went through. Sharing is not good enough; you will need to begin forgiveness by having someone walk the forgiveness path with you, if you can’t do it alone.
Choose to live and not hate. It takes more energy to lhate than to love. It’s true. Do you remember the last time you hated someone? Weren’t you overwhelmed by negative emotions and you just can’t do anything in that state of emotion? This is what happens when you choose not to forgive. Not only will you harbor resentment and bitterness in, but your health will also be greatly affected. High blood pressure, depression, and headache are just several health problems related to unforgiveness. Why allow yourself to suffer these consequences when you deserve to life a more fulfilling and happier life after what you had gone through or are still going through?
Before you go to bed today, think about someone whom you have not forgiven. Start your forgiveness process today. When you do that, the healing of your hurts will take place and set you free from your emotional brokenness. When you look back a few years from now, you will be glad that you choose to forgive instead of to hate. Let this powerful transformation lead you to a path of emotional freedom and a life of abundance because you only live once in this lifetime!