Forgiveness is a courageous choice in moving forward.
We’ve all experienced bitterness towards others who have hurt us. It’s natural to hold a grudge against them and list out the reasons why they shouldn’t be forgiven. Although unforgiveness is lingering bitterness, it won’t disappear unless you choose to let it go.
In the last few years, I’ve had to endure betrayals from people who I thought were going to be in my life forever. I was enraged for a long time but realized it was only eating me alive inside. For a while, I couldn’t bring myself to let go. However, in time I knew I needed to in order to move on. To clarify, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean you allow a person back into your life. It means to let go of any resentment or negative feelings towards that person.
Last spring, I focused on healing while I studied abroad in Australia. The lockdown forced me to stop burying the pain and work through my emotions. Of course, the dreadful part was reliving the events and the brokenness. Although finally working through it, I realized my own self-worth alleviated the burdens. I’m not saying I healed overnight, but releasing my emotions while in a quiet environment improved my mental health.
In one of my study abroad journal entries, I wrote about the healing process and how it relates to the season of spring. When we think of spring, we usually picture the vibrant colors of blooming flowers. This also represents new life following the harshness of winter.
Perhaps spring symbolizes peace as well. It represents true acceptance of what had happened and choosing to start anew. To clarify, forgiveness isn’t a weakness. It’s actually the opposite because you’re choosing to shift your focus forward instead of seeking the past. I used to believe that it was a weakness until someone told me, “forgive them not because you want to, but because it’s what you need to do in order to truly move on. Choose yourself over the resentment”.