It is much easier to hold a grudge, get angry, seek revenge, self-medicate or self-harm, than it is to forgive.
Whatever hand abuse has tainted our life with, (we don’t get to choose how it is delivered) as adults, we get to choose how it affects our lives.
There is no other way to be free from the memories, or healed of the scars and the lifetime effects of being the victim of abuse other than through forgiveness.
Forgiveness does not excuse, minimize, or release the abuser from accountability but it does set you free to live outside the framework of another’s cruelty towards you.
Forgiveness goes beyond our natural feelings of justice and putting right the wrongs done against us. To make a choice to forgive sets us free from the cords that bind us to the abuse and the abuser. It empowers us to make healthy choices and frees us from shame.
Forgiveness is not an emotion it is a choice to free ourselves from the person who has harmed us and the shame that does not belong to us.
Forgiveness is not a one off thing, it is a conscious decision every time we are triggered by a memory to forgive the person, over and over and over again until the memory loses it’s sting.
It’s in our best interest to forgive. We may never forget what happened but through forgiveness the sting of what happened loses it’s power to keep us a prisoner to the abuse and the abuser.
Originally published October 26, 2012