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It’s a New Year! Yet, Valentine’s Day is around the corner and love is lurking around every corner with a chubby cherub pointing an arrow at you. In my previous blog post, “The Power of Forgiveness”, I wrote about forgiving and letting go. It can be especially difficult during holiday times like Thanksgiving, Christmas and defiantly the “Big Love Day.” If you’re single, Valentine’s Day can put you in a place of bitterness and you’ll want to have an, “I hate Valentine’s Day” party. I can almost guarantee that as you read my previous blog post, you may have said aloud to yourself, “I’ll forgive, but I ain’t forgetting!” Or maybe you muttered, “I know I need to forgive, but I don’t know how.” You may have also said, “I forgave, but how can I let go and move forward?” The list of thought provoking questions could go on. And, believe it or not, I’ve asked myself the same questions, and then some. I’m not going to say that I have all the answers, but I do have some insightful thoughts I’d like to share with you.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you have to be his or her best friend. Forgiveness means releasing the hurt and pains that person/situation caused, and not allowing yourself to emotionally dwell on the offence, yet letting yourself move on with your life. When you hold on to past hurts it does nothing but stifle your growth and prevents you from reaching your full potential. Don’t erase the offence that caused the hurt. Use the offence as a lesson of strength and wisdom. Remember, “That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger,” and wiser too. If the circumstances leading up to what offended you the first time arise again, you’ll be able to reflect on your past lesson and not fall for it again.
How can I forgive someone? Confront the hurt, NOT the individual. Pray about it, write about it, and/or talk to a trusted individual (professional, minister, objective friend) about it. You need to get it out because keeping it bottled up on the inside is not where it needs to be. It will only take up valuable space in the priceless areas of your heart and mind.
How do you truly let it go and move forward after you’ve come to terms about the situation/person? This is the hard part, even for me. Personally, I’ve taking the steps towards letting go by focusing on my personal growth and not the person who offended me, or the offence. I’ve also learned to forgive myself. My advice to you is simple, forgive. Use the pain and hurt as a learning tool, don’t dwell on the offence and focus on building yourself up. Once you’ve done that you’ll notice that you’re over it and not only has true forgiveness taken place, but healing.