Have you also noticed that almost every week a tweet about forgiveness shows up on our Twitter timelines? The themes are mainly about how we must forgive others to be totally happy and free. Especially the forgiveness of our parents, and not blaming them for whatever may be wrong in our lives. That sentiment in particular is always a hot tweet in rotation. As someone who has been abused by a parent during their life (emotionally/verbally), I forgive, but it is extremely hard to forget. Forgetting is hard, as my abusive parents actions still effect my life today. To that I say, forced forgiveness ain’t it.

My parent has verbally, emotionally and once physically attacked me. The abuse endures to this day for both my sister and myself. We have made the decision to no longer engage with this parent. I have taken care of this parent financially and in sickness, despite all of their abuses. The emotional and mental abuse has become so pervasive that another family member physically attacked me (while yelling lies the parent had told them about me). This terrifying physical assault lead me to the urgent care and the authorities. The parent has chosen to also lie about the attack and side with their unstable family member. Abuse begets abuse.

Forgiveness is not for the other person, but for you. That is what we have been told, right? We are taught that we must forgive those who have hurt and/or abused us. This will help us to gain closure and live a happy life. In religious faiths we are taught that God forgives all, and has died on the cross for our sins. Godforgives us daily for the mistakes we make, surely we can forgive those who have wronged us…shouldn’t we? It is not that easy, nor should it be.

None of us are perfect by any means. We have hurt others intentionally or not, and we want them to forgive us when we have done so. You yell at your partner out of frustration and apologize seeking their forgiveness. One day at work, your co-worker steals your idea for a project and passes it off as their own during the next meeting. They do not apologize, and yet, you are supposed to forgive them so that you can live happily. Forgiveness is not always that simple.

Holding onto anger, hate and resentment will eventually eat at your mental, emotional and physical health. Although we feel hurt and have to deal with the emotional broken pieces of our consciousness, we forgive to heal our inner child that never received an apology. We forgive to heal our adult souls that struggle with anxiety, mistrust and fear because of another actions. We forgive to try and put all of those broken pieces back together or fling them into the ether and start anew. Forgiveness is for us…forgiveness is for me, and not you. Thank God for meditation and therapy.

Have you struggled with being able to forgive those who have hurt you?

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