To Forgive or To Not Forgive

The other day, to my astonishment, I was told that because I forgave someone who had hurt me, I was stooping to their level.

If forgiveness is wrong, then is hate right?

I hold the topic of forgiveness very near and dear to my heart. Forgiveness is an imperative part of healing and happiness. However, people oftentimes don’t understand what forgiveness entails. In large part, this can be attributed to the culture we live in today where revenge-not forgiveness- is encouraged.

In order to best explain myself, I should probably be brutally honest and explain my situation and how I came to forgiving  two great people-but two people who hurt me.

I dated a guy for two years. My first boyfriend, my first love. That sort of thing. However, after two great years spent together, he started to develop feelings for someone else. And unfortunately he acted on those feelings and ended up cheating on me-followed by leaving me for that girl. That absolutely broke my heart. There’s a lot more to it than that, but I figure you can all get the jist of what happened and how depressed I became.

Because self-esteem has always been something I struggled with, being cheated on by (at the time) the only guy who had ever loved me, I became extremely angry. I not only fell into a trance of depression, but anger and bitterness too. I did whatever I could to inflict pain on both him and her. I was feeling so much all at once.

However, around 5 months after it all happened I felt an overwhelming sense to forgive him at least. All day I could hear God speaking to me. After speaking with him, I told him I forgave him. Yet, those words were only the start of a long, sought out process of forgiveness.

Months passed and I still felt anger, bitterness, and a tinge of sadness. However, with time, I finally felt completely restored to my optimal happiness. But I will still angry and living with that tinge of hate.

Finally, well over a year after it all happened, and I was finally able to forgive and let go.

What people don’t know, however, is how amazing of a feeling forgiveness is. To let go of all that hate is a feeling people rarely mention. Yet, forgiveness is no easy task. Forgiveness takes time, insight, and most importantly, selflessness. It’s not easy to forgive-but well worth it. Something society rarely mentions. No one ever speaks of how amazing and vital forgiveness truly is.

I guess the moral of the story is no matter how badly someone wrongs you, forgiveness can be achieved and should be sought after. If Christ can forgive us for everything we’ve done-far worse-then why can’t we forgive someone else who has hurt us?

When it came to being cheated on I found that everyone makes mistakes. But should I hold it against them for the rest of our lives? While my relationship and friendship with the two of them may never be the same, to know that I can look at them without hate, and be able to pray for their happiness is a great feeling. Why waste energy on hate when you could use it for happiness?

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