I had recently read an article on Forgiveness, I came away from it being none the wiser, a little disturbed about a topic that is very inflammatory.
"The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest...and the first to forget is the happiest." ~unknown
At some point in life, we're going to make a mistake, we're going to hurt someone and/or do something that is wrong on every level. At some point in life you will be in a situation where you will be the victim of something, whether intentional or not, nobody is exempt. Life is never about the mistake, it's about the recovery. Period!
If It's Your Mistake
Apologize. Do everything in your power to make the mistake better, or at the very least liveable, acknowledge your part, acknowledge the mistake. Not because someone tells you to, because YOU KNOW it's a mistake. If someone else has to point out your mistake, an apology isn't acceptable until you own it, until you understand the hurt, the destruction, the error of your ways, and how that its affected another.
We're simply human, we all will make mistakes from time to time, some are simple mistakes, others can be devastating, they can change the life of another human being.
We tend to be the hardest on our own selves when it comes to making mistakes, the verbal abuse that we can dish out on a daily basis is more vile than we would ever say to another human being in our shoes. We have to be able to forgive ourselves or we to stay stuck in the mire. Forgiving yourself isn't about you being let off of any hook of culpability, acknowledging your mistake, learning from it as never to make the same mistake again.
When You're The Victim
We will all fall victim to something, at some time in our lives. Healing is a process that everyone does on their own accord, it's not something that we can put a time stamp on and we shouldn't. We do have to heal from the hurt to be able to move on to a happy healthy normal life again. Even if the landscape has changed because of an event, even if our new normal isn't the same as it was pre-dating the event. Staying stuck in the victimization of any situation isn't a healthy way to live your life, it is a way of being eternally stuck.
Forgiveness isn't about acceptance that whatever was done to you was right in any way, shape or form, it isn't about justifying what happened. You don't have to utter any words to the person or persons responsible. You do HAVE to do IT for you though! Forgiving what happened to you no matter how heinous, does mean that you won't let it control your life anymore. You won't allow it to steal your happiness, to cloud your mind with the hurt and the anger anymore. Forgiveness is meant to free you, to bring you peace to a situation, living with the hurt and the anger is an evil elixir that you drink, hoping that it will kill the other person, when in the end you only end up harming yourself. Being angry and resentful, will only serve to ruin the rest of your life, leaving you stuck, bitter and feeling utterly powerless. Life is short, way too short to spend angry, as long as you choose to be angry, you can never truly claim back your power over the situation or move on from it.
"Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you're the one that gets burned" ~Buddha
Don't allow someone else's feelings on the subject....to taint or change yours. You can't help if your feelings make another person uncomfortable, that's on them not on you. You are allowed to have your own feelings on any given topic or situation.
You cannot change the past, no amount of wishing or what if'ing will ever change it, you can however choose how you carry on in the future, what you choose to do moving forward, how you feel about any given situation. Does forgiving mean that you forget? No, not at all. It does however give you the options to gain your power back over any situation, making you able to live a life free of resentment. A life of peace, don't allow people or situations to live rent free, clogging up your future to a path of happiness and most importantly PEACE.