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What I Learned About Forgiveness That Healed Me

It is so hard to forgive those who hurt us, but what we do not realise is that holding on to that anger is harming no one but ourselves. It is a never-ending battle within that saps us out of all energy; forgiveness may be the best bet to finding happiness again.

It is very difficult to forgive someone who has hurt you. All you want to do is hurt them back and make them pay. You keep thinking and pondering about it day after day, week after week and month after month. What you don’t realise is that your suffering multiplies ten-fold by holding onto that anger and letting it fester and grow within you until it turns into a volcano, ready to erupt.

I know how difficult it is to forgive. 

It took a lot of damage and ruin for me to finally throw in the towel and decide that enough was enough. I was tired of being angry and wanted to feel happy again. I have had people in my life that hurt me and damaged me so deeply that I believed I could never ever forgive them. 

I held onto that anger for years until I realised how much harm I was doing to myself. My body was talking to me, begging me to stop, but I did not listen. I was often unwell, mentally too as my mind was signalling me to stop but I refused to listen. I was never really happy. I smiled a lot but it was an empty, hollow smile with no depth or meaning.

There was a part of me that was always sad. In my heart, I was forever cursing and abusing the people who had hurt me and life was pretty much miserable.

Till one day, I met this lady…

I was at a clinic, waiting my turn and she was sitting next to me. It almost felt like the Universe had serendipitously planned it. We got talking and she held my hand, looked into my eyes and told me she saw sadness behind my smile, she wanted to help me. 

She told me my anger and pent up feelings were going to be the end of me if I did not stop soon. She said I wasting away my beautiful life on people who did not matter anymore and I really had to stop immediately or it would be very late.

Coming from a stranger, those words really hit home. It was a revelation for me. I was blown away by her candid words and it took me a while to digest what I had heard. I knew all along, the harm I was doing to myself but hearing it to my face was what I needed. 

I finally decided to work on letting go and forgiving those who had affected me so deeply. It was time to free myself from the shackles. I had imprisoned myself for someone else’s wrongdoings and I was ready to be released. It took me a while to start making small changes and taking baby steps towards freedom and slowly but surely it was liberating.

I could breathe again. I could truly smile again.

Forgiving someone for what they have done to you is one of the hardest things to do but once done it is also one of the best feelings to experience, the feeling of complete freedom from negativity and resentment. Once you let go of that negativity and anger brewing inside of you, you allow yourself to heal. It is not easy, but once you get on that path, you will soon master it. Allowing anger, hurt, resentment and negativity to fester inside you is a recipe for disaster.

The toughest part about forgiveness is the fear of being taken advantage of again and the fear of losing control and power. Ironically, forgiveness empowers us and gives the control of how we feel and run our lives back into our own hands. Forgiveness is actually empowering.

As Mahatma Gandhi very aptly stated, “the weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

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