Forgiveness is often an issue for couples dealing with relationship problems.
Forgiveness is often a powerful way to resolve and repair relationship issues and move forward towards a healthier relationship for both partners. Many times a couple cannot move forward until they have forgiven each other for past mistakes. It can be helpful if both partners recognize how they may have been perceived and promise to move forward without bringing up issues from the past. By practicing forgiveness, a couple may also be able to let go of pent up tension and anxiety.
We may imagine that forgiveness is arrived at through a logical, rational sorting-out process. But, forgiveness is not arrived at or achieved intellectually. Forgiveness is a personal, non-rational experience, and it must be solved by tailoring to the specific person’s pain. Forgiveness is the ability to let go of the past in order to move forward. Letting go of old wounds can dramatically improve our mood in the present.
Forgiveness is not “condoning.” It is not “permitting,” “allowing” or “forgetting”. Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate choice that we make to stop holding on to hurt.
We have the choice whether to hang on to it or to let it go. We can choose to forgive them so we can gain the energy back that we have used to hold onto this painful event. It’s entirely up to us.
The act of forgiveness gives us options and allows us to live our life on a much more realistic, mature basis. If we don’t forgive, the hurt will stay down there inside us forever. Is that what we want? I don’t think so.
Where is it written that if we don’t forgive, it will make us strong? We cannot prevent hurtful things from happening to us in an imperfect world by refusing to forgive. That is not ‘strength of character’, that’s sulking and pouting. There is no connection between holding a grudge and security.
We are able to cope with hurtful things in the future as they come, just like anyone else. We don’t need to prevent them from happening. The irony is that our pain is giving rise to sadness and worry, which creates the insecurity we are trying so hard to overcompensate for!
Some people become confused about forgiveness because it sounds like we are letting go of all responsibility and allowing others to discard the rules of society. But forgiveness can complement personal responsibility. Could it be we are afraid that if we forgive them, the judge will throw our case out of court? That is absurd. There is no judge and no court, just angry people who don’t know how to relieve their own distress.
Does this dream of vindication in the unspecified future make us happy right now? Or does it merely prevent us from living our life? Our anger is pushing us to put these people first in ourself last. Life is too short for this mean, petty spitefulness. We pay a high price for reserving the right to be as cruel to them as they were to us. Forgiveness allows us to let go of the past, while we continue to make our best effort in the present.