If you can’t forgive someone…

I hate all the existing clichés about forgiveness. I know every proverb, every piece of advice, every generally accepted wisdom, because I tried to find answers in literature. I read all the posts on websites and blogs dedicated to the experience of forgiveness.

I printed out Buddha quotes, and memorized them – none of them helped. I know that the gap between “learning to forgive” and a real sense of spiritual peace can be infinitely far. I know.

Forgiveness is an impassable jungle for each of us who wants justice. The very thought that someone will go unpunished, after everything he has done, causes pain.

Forgiveness looks like betraying yourself

You don’t want to give up in the fight for justice. Anger burns within you, and poisons you with its own poison. You know that, but you still can’t let go of the situation.

Anger becomes a part of you – like your heart, brain or lungs. I know that feeling, I know it well, when the anger in your blood beats to the rhythm of your pulse.

But the thing to remember about anger: it is an instrumental emotion. We get angry because we want justice. Because we think we will benefit from it. Because we believe: the angrier we are, the more changes we can make. Anger does not understand that the past is already over and the damage has already been done. She says revenge will make everything right.

Being angry is like constantly picking at a bleeding wound, thinking that this will erase the scars. It’s as if the man who wounded you will one day come and make a stitch with such incredible precision that not a trace of the wound will remain.

The truth about anger is this: it is a refusal to heal

You are afraid, it is terrible for you because when the wound heals, you will have to live in a new, unfamiliar skin. And you want to return the old one. And your anger is whispering to you that it is best not to stop the bleeding.

When everything boils inside you, forgiveness seems impossible. We want to forgive because our mind understands that it is a healthy choice. We want peace, tranquility, which offers forgiveness. We want to break free. We want this noise in the brain to stop, but we can’t do anything about ourselves.

Because nobody ever told us the main thing about forgiveness: it won’t fix anything. It is not an eraser that will erase everything that happened to you. It won’t take away the pain you’ve been living with, and it won’t give you instant relief. Searching for inner peace is a long and difficult journey. Forgiveness is the only thing that will allow you to avoid “dehydration” along the way.

Forgiveness is giving up hope… It is the understanding that everything is over, the dust has settled and nothing can be returned to its original form. It is an acknowledgment that no amount of magic can repair the damage. Yes, the storm was unfair, but still, you have to live in a ruined city. And no amount of anger will lift him from the ruins. You will have to do it yourself.

Forgiveness is taking personal responsibility

…not for destruction, but for restoration. This is a decision about how to regain your peace.

Forgiveness does not mean that you have to be friends with those who have caused you pain. You simply understand that they left a mark, and now you will live with such a scar. You will stop waiting for the man who broke you, for him to return everything “as it was”. You will begin to heal the wounds, regardless of whether the scars remain. Keep living with your scars.

Forgiveness is not the triumph of injustice. It is about creating one’s own righteousness, one’s own karma, and destiny. The point is to get back on your feet and decide not to be unhappy about the past.

Forgiveness is understanding that your scars will not define your future. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you give up. It means that you are ready to gather your strength and move on.

8 thoughts on “If you can’t forgive someone…”

  1. Trying to navigate forgiveness can be really difficult as it often stirs up so much emotion; I often find that the really hard things to forgive are the ones that time deals with. After a while I let what’s sat within me go (but not before it’s been painful to process, etc). Great post — it’s got me thinking!

    Liked by 1 person

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