What Forgiveness Means

What Forgiveness Means

"Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got." – Robert Brault

One of the most difficult words in the English language: forgiveness. The fact is, it's hard. Forgiving someone who has wronged you is hard. It hurts. It's messy. It's all of these things and then some. Despite all of this, forgiveness is always better than holding onto hate. One of the hardest things in life you'll learn is that sometimes, most times, you have to learn to accept an apology you never got. Sadly, betrayal never comes from our enemies. The ones that hurt us most are always the ones that we love most, and that's just how it is.

So, why forgive? What does forgiveness really mean? Forgiveness means wishing the best for someone that did not wish the best for you. Forgiveness means freeing yourself from a burden and a grudge, from the hateful thoughts in your mind and the shattered feelings in your heart. Forgiveness means deciding that the mistakes and demons of someone else are not worth your well being. Forgiveness means choosing to see that not everyone has the same heart as you. Forgiveness means knowing that a person who does not see an issue with their actions will never change.

When you forgive, you decide that you will no longer hold onto a hateful spirit. Believe me, I know better than anyone that not everyone deserves forgiveness. I know there are unspeakable, unimaginable things that happen. I know there are people who continually bring pain and sorrow into your life. I know all of these things, but once you decide to forgive, you decide to live.

Hate and love cannot exist in your heart at the same time. You cannot live the life that was meant for you when you focus all of your energy on people that don't deserve it. Relationships can be mended, but sometimes they aren't meant to be. You have to accept that many people that enter your life are meant to be a lesson. They are not permanent, they are a heartbreak today and a breakthrough tomorrow. They are meant to teach you things about yourself that you could not learn on your own.

It hurts to lose people, it hurts to hurt, but just know that you don’t have to. Forgiveness means moving on from the things and the people that tear you down. It means deciding to learn from it, move on from it and grow from it; but most importantly to never dwell in it. It’s important to forgive so you can be the joy and the light you were meant to be. I will say it again; you cannot love at your fullest with hate in your heart.

People will always disappoint you, and no one on this Earth is perfect. He forgives all things, so forgive as He does. Life is short and things happen. People leave and people stay and people hurt people every single day. Forgive. Choose freedom, because that’s what forgiveness means.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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What A Blessing It Is To Have Been Loved By A Grandpa Like You

No one could ever replace your contagious giggle and radiating love.


To my newest angel in heaven...

Grandpa Norb, I just wanted to write to you to let you know how great it is to be loved by a grandpa like you. With 4 children, 4 children in-law, 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, we all know in our different ways your love for us. While you are no longer here, I am certain that you will always be watching over us and in our hearts.

Knowing you for 20 years, I can't imagine feeling more loved. Every holiday gathering started with you wishing a Merry Christmas, no matter the actual holiday. You always welcomed with a hug, and said goodbye with open arms, a kiss on the cheek and a whispered reminder that I am always in your prayers. Even with you no longer with us, I know you'll be watching over and praying for me as I carry on my steps in life.

Like a sunflower, you were always bright and smiling when I saw you. You showed your excitement when I walked in the room and made me feel lucky to be around you and overjoyed to know you just through your smile. You were the patriarch of our wonderful family standing tall and showering us with radiating love and goofiness.

Among us all, you loved Grandma with your whole heart and were married for 68 beautiful years. Watching her say goodbye has been one of the hardest things to see, but completely overpowering, the love you had for each other. As long as I knew you, I don't think I ever saw the two of you apart. The unconditional love that you had and always will feel for each other is one that I envy to have in my own relationships.

As almost two weeks have passed since God brought you to him, this is my goodbye to you. I will never forget the last good day I spent with you and Grandma together. I will think of you when I see yellow sunflowers standing tall and bright, and during thunderstorms as if it is you Grandpa Ray bowling together up in heaven.

I feel incredibly lucky to know you and have been loved by you for 20 of your 94 years, and I will always miss you.



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