Something as simple as this seems to be so complicated in our minds. What does forgiveness mean? Well apparently psychologists define it as a conscious decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward someone who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve it or not. Our feelings, our emotions, our resentments and vengeance's are not easy concepts either. Our emotions and feelings come from the most vulnerable place of our whole being. Think about it. Our feelings and emotions depict how we express our face, our words, our voice….they decide how to be as a human being and as a person towards ourselves and towards others. Our feelings and emotions depict who we are, whether we like it or not….they are our personality and make up every inch of ourselves.
When people do something to hurt us, we are hurt: plain and simple. Starting at a young age we learn that when someone makes fun of you, when you fall down and bruise your knees, you are hurt physically and emotionally. Sometimes only physically, sometimes only emotionally. Why? That’s part of being human.
So then when is the time to hold on to the hurt and not forgive, and also the concept of getting up right away, forgiving and moving on? Well, I guess that’s all up to our own feelings. (Ha, there’s that damn word again.) It’s our past and our hurt that allows us to grow, to become stronger. Cheesy, right? But, insanely true.
My friend and roommate explained it to me by calling them “hurt rocks”. I know, may sound weird but let me explain. So, you have these rocks that have hurt you through out your life…and you still carry them. These rocks are constant, they are there to remind you that you were hurt but that doesn’t mean that you don’t move past them and live your life…because you do. Of course, you are going to remember what happened and why you were hurt but you move on. That doesn’t mean they are gone and everything is happy again, it just means that they are there.
Forgiving that person who hurt you, forgiving that situation that caused you pain does not mean that you forgot it happened nor will you ever. You are allowed to still be hurt, but you can be hurt and still forgive.
Of course, there are bigger situations where forgiveness is going to take a long time, even years and perhaps years of therapy too but maybe one day it will happen when you are old enough and have gone through it enough to realize it’s not healthy to hold on to something that makes you so angry, so upset, so in pain that you can’t live your life the way you would want.