Shifting the Paradigm to Make Forgiveness Easier
One of the hardest things to do in life is to forgive someone for hurting you.
There are a couple misconceptions about what forgiveness is.
1. Forgiveness is for whoever you’re forgiving.
2. The expectation is that you forget whatever has been done to you.
Forgiveness is for you.
If you’ve ever lifted weights before, imagine lifting the heaviest weight you’ve ever lifted.
Now imagine not only lifting it but holding it and not putting it down. At first it’s ok but after a while you notice the stress of the weight. Think about if somebody was trying to talk to you while you’re holding this heavy load.
You really wouldn’t want to talk at all would you? You might even be short or nasty towards them. Not because of what they are saying but because you’re under stress.
As time goes on and you’re still holding the weight you might find that all you can think about is holding the weight.
Eventually the weight will either damage you or you just won’t be able to hold it anymore and it will come crashing to the floor leaving you hurt and feeling defeated because you couldn’t hold up the load anymore.
How did I let that defeat me?
That’s how many of us are when we’ve been hurt. We hold onto it until it breaks us down then we get disappointed in ourselves because we think “I should’ve been stronger than that. How did I let that defeat me?”
Stress is meant to come and go not to be held onto forever.
That’s why forgiveness is for you and not your transgressor. You can decide to let the weight go. You don’t have to hold onto it. The weight doesn’t care whether it’s picked up or on the floor. It’s going to be the same regardless. It’s you that is suffering from trying to carry it around.
I will talk about the paradigm shift in how to let go in a moment. First let’s talk about the second thing forgiveness is not. It is not forgetting what happened.
I wake up every morning with rough callused hands. I know exactly where they came from. I remember the pull ups, the dead lifts, the heavy weights i managed to lift throughout the years.
I don’t suddenly forget what caused those calluses or wake up shocked to find them on my hands! That would be ridiculous.
I also don’t get mad at the weights from years of lifting them. They can’t and won’t apologize to me or do anything to make my hands feel better.
What I really should do is say thank you!
Yes, that’s the paradigm shift. Thank you for making me tougher. Thank you for building me stronger. Thank you for preparing me for the next big thing in my life that I have to conquer to reach my destiny. Thank you for testing me beyond my limits and defining new boundaries. Thank you for helping me know where my strength ends and when I need help.
A lot of times we hold on because we are expecting an apology or something from that other person to make us feel better. If we don’t get it we hold on to that pain until it tears us apart.
Gaining strength is a process
What I’m suggesting is letting go and being thankful for the strength you gained from the stress that person caused you. Gaining strength is a process and it won’t happen over night but the end sometimes justifies the means.
You don’t have to go tell them all is forgiven because it wasn’t for them and quite frankly they may not know or care that they hurt you. Just like the weights don’t care that they hurt my hands.
When I’m trying to progress in strength, i never go back and lift the same weight I already conquered over and over. All that is doing is breaking me down and making me tired. Once you’ve forgiven and let go there is no need to go back and pick that stress back up. It’s done…you’ve conquered it. It’s time to move on to the next thing that you now have the strength to overcome in reaching your full potential!