The Art of Forgiveness

Photo by: Jasmine Tovar

Forgiveness. Such a simple word, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to do. I’ve always heard that forgiveness isn’t for the person that hurt you, it’s for you. Which sounded to me like a crock of bologna, but I’ve learned recently that that statement is very true. Holding on to negative things has absolutely no impact on the person who hurt you, but you’re always feeling it or allowing it to control you in some way, whether you realize it or not.

Growing up, my father wasn’t around as much as he should’ve been. And I’ll admit when I was a child I questioned it. Was I not good enough? I remember wanting to have this amazing father-daughter relationship with my father that I saw on the T.V. but as I got older I realized that it more than likely wasn’t going to happen. When I graduated high school, I had a conversation with my father and I thought that I had let go of all the resentment that I had, again I was wrong.

For the past few years, I’ve been building a relationship with my father, getting to know him and whatnot. It’s everything that I’ve wanted it to be but a part of me still holds on to the fact that he wasn’t there when I needed him the most and I know it’s had an impact on me. I’m not trusting of men for the most part because the one man that I was supposed to be able to count on wasn’t there. I know there are issues that I must deal with because I don’t want to take my anger and frustration out on anyone over something that they had no control of.

I recently had a chat with my father and it enlightened me. Him not being around had nothing to do with me. I get that now. It doesn’t make it hurt any less but it’s getting better. Of course, I realize that it’s going to take time to fully heal, but I’m in a place that I feel I’m more than ready and capable to start moving past the hurt and start over. I forgive him! And it’s not for him, it’s for me. I want to be able to date freely without always being suspicious of the guy’s motives. I want to build a healthy relationship with someone, and I don’t want anything to stand in my way.

Once you realize that you need the forgiveness for yourself more than you need it for the other person, amazing things start to happen. Luckily for me, my father acknowledges his wrongs, and we’re able to move forward. Hopefully we can build that father-daughter relationship that I’ve always wanted. It’s been a long road getting here, but I believe to be the best version of yourself, you have to let go of the hurt or anger that you may be holding on to. I’m not saying forgiveness fixes everything, but it’s a pretty great start!