One of the topics that many of us like to avoid or not consider is forgiveness. Forgiveness forces us to look at the things that really hurt us. It makes us confront trauma and pain, showing us the darkest parts of humanity, and for many people, something like this is too painful to experience. How can you blame them? As someone who has experienced trauma firsthand, it’s something that I never wanted to think about. Every time I thought of forgiveness, I was reminded of what I went through, and for me that was worse.
If anything, it’s easier for you to be angry than to relive the worst moment of your life. It’s easier to hate those who have wronged you—easier to be angry at those who have stolen from you and taken advantage of your goodness, because even something as visceral as anger and hate is better than being reminded of what you went through. Forgiveness is the real enemy in our heads, and we choose to ignore just how venomous that anger can become. Anger is an emotion, and after all, we are human. We are meant to feel emotion in its rawest form, but what a lot of people don’t know is that anger is different than most of the emotions we feel. Anger, unlike other feelings, is meant to be temporary and fleeting. When we allow ourselves to wallow in anger, it festers in us like a virus, changing us fundamentally and warping our morals and values, and it doesn’t feel wrong until it’s too late.
Anger is all consuming, and when left unchecked, we start to become less human. We let those people who destroyed us with their own evil win. They mark us as victims, but it’s only when we choose to be different, when we choose to be more than what they have tried to make us, that we truly defeat those who have tried to overcome us.
Forgiveness has always been a hard thing to understand for most people, but for me and for a lot of people, they feel they have nothing else to do but to forgive those who have wronged them. While some people can move on with their lives, some people are left with nothing but anger and pain, and sometimes the only way to move on is to forgive.
Anger can be a prison and forgiveness allows a release from that prison. It’s a release from that cycle of rage and fury. It’s never an easy decision, and for a long time, you harbor anger, and that’s why forgiveness is personal to every person. No person can be rushed into it, and it’s a process that is different and unique to whoever is going through it.
Not everyone will understand the idea of forgiveness. Sometimes trauma runs too deep, and the anger has us twisted to the point where we don’t think there’s any point. It’s not for us to judge anyone’s journey with it.
Forgiveness is not about God, contrary to belief. If someone is of faith, he can be involved, but forgiveness is entirely personal. But it’s also not something we have to go through alone. It’s a hard choice, but when it’s made, it frees you.