Forgiving Someone Who Didn't Ask For It

Forgiving Someone Who Didn't Ask For It

"Maturity is when someone hurts you and you try to understand them."
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I have done a lot of difficult things. I've woken up early for swim practice, endured a straight month of sorority recruitment, survived weeks of band camp, took every standardized test created, quit something I loved and let go of people I loved even more. But nothing has been as difficult as trying to forgive someone who never even asked for my forgiveness.

It probably doesn't make much sense. Why forgive someone who isn't sorry?

The thing is, I honestly can't handle lugging around the anger with me. I hate conflict, and I hate having hard feelings, even if those feelings are completely justified. The anger sits on my shoulders like it's the weight of the world, and carrying it around hurts me more than anything anyone has ever done to me in the past. I strive to forgive people who didn't even ask for it because I deserve the peace of mind.

Even though the anger hurts, it doesn't make forgiving someone any easier, especially when someone isn't sorry. It's one thing for someone to hurt you, but for someone to hurt you and not care is an even sharper stab in the back. Forgiveness isn't as simple as just "letting go;" it takes time, patience and strength. A lot more strength than holding on to a grudge or shoving feelings inside until they explode onto the surface.

I'm still in the process of forgiving those who hurt me in the past. I work really hard at it. I exercise a lot to release the negative energy. Sometimes I put my headphones on as loud as my eardrums can handle and just sprint around my gym's track until I'm completely out of breath. I also write a lot. Writing has always been a great outlet for my emotions, since I'm not so great at verbalizing how I feel. I seek out positive outlets. I surround myself with good food, great music and the best friends.

And mostly, I remind myself that the person who hurt me is probably hurting a lot worse than I could ever know. Happy people don't hurt others, and I am so lucky to be happy. I count my blessings every day and realize my life is too amazing to let anger ruin that. I can't let someone else's inner turmoil ruin my peace of mind. All I can do is try to forgive them and hope they find happiness themselves someday.

Like I said, I'm still in the process of forgiving some people and letting go. It's not an overnight process. It takes time. I guess some people could say forgiveness is weakness but forgiving someone requires a lot more strength than holding onto anger and hatred forever. If forgiveness was easy, I would've done it a lot sooner. It's not the easiest route, but I refuse to let the past define how I view the world, others and myself now.

One of my favorite quotes from the TV show "How I Met Your Mother" sums up my beliefs perfectly:

"You may think your only two choices are to swallow your anger or throw it in someone's face, but there's a third option: you can just let it go, and only when you do that is it really gone, and you can move forward."
Cover Image Credit: Jolie Delia

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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