Saturday, January 8, 2011

The F word ... Forgivness

Forgiveness, lets face it we all struggle with it! Why? Because forgiveness is a tricky thing, something I refer to as the other F word,.. why.... because it's so damn hard to do...most of the time. I find forgiving things I see as smaller injustices or offences so much easier to forgive then ones that I see as bigger.

The act of forgiveness has gotten so messed up though. Most people think forgiveness is about excusing the behaviour of the person who wronged you, letting them off the hook for the hurt they have caused... that's how I viewed forgiveness for a long time anyway. I refused to forgive people..why should they be able to get away with the horrible things they have said and done? Why should I forgive them and let them feel better when I feel so much pain? Forgiveness and my lack of being able to do so really messed me up for a long time. I harboured vengeful thoughts towards those who had wronged me and was often consumed with anger, hurt and even hate towards people. Unforgiveness created a darkness in I realise that may sound strange but that is the only way I can describe it. When I thought of a particular person or event that had caused considerable pain or damage to me I felt all these negative emotions welling up inside of me, taking over any good or positive feeling I was having at the time. My heart grew hard and I wished that who ever had hurt or offended me would experience the same pain... justice I would defend these thoughts with!

It wasn't until a couple of years ago I really grasped just how freeing forgiveness can be. I knew that as a Christian it (The F word) was something I was expected to do,something God does everyday and something I should be willing to offer to others the same way he does. However I am NOT God and I lack his compassion and understanding so forgiveness even though I was and am a Christian continued to be a struggle. It wasn't until talking some of these emotions out with a trusted advisor and really feeling the need to get rid of these dark and revenge filled thoughts that the forgiveness picture began to become clearer.

Forgiveness isn't about the other person, letting them off the hook, forgiveness is about ME!!! Letting myself off the hook. Being able to let go of all the anger, hurt and mis-trust I was holding against people for offences that had happened so long ago. Offences that they have probably not even given a second thought to. Those actions were eating ME up not them and so I had to let go. Letting go and forgiving was not an easy thing to do and sometimes the process of forgiveness had to be done over and over till I really began to feel a change in my heart. It took a long time to work through lots of pain that I had been carrying around. And even now forgiveness is not something that comes naturally to me, however I know how much better I feel when I have forgiven someone so it is something I continue to work on, wanting to get better at it.

I have learnt that it is not my place to deal out the justice ( a very long and difficult journey to get to that point mind you) Forgiveness for me has become so freeing, I no longer have to carry the weight of pain and anger towards people, I am free. Forgiving doesn't always mean forgetting, or allowing the same person to continue to hurt me, boundaries have been put in place in certain circumstances and some people although forgiven are no longer part of my life. Forgiving doesn't mean excusing what the person/s did wrong but it is allowing myself to acknowledge the hurt and hand it on to God to deal with (I believe he will do a far better job with the dealing of justice then I could ever do) Sometimes I don't want to forgive I want to feel angry and annoyed about a situation or person and every now and then I do find myself plotting scenarios in my head on things that could happen in return for my pain, (muwhahahaha Dr Evil laugh) but in the end I know that this is wrong. It's really not the type of woman I want to be. I want to be free of anger and hate as much as I possibly can be, I don't want to be weighed down by the burden of unforgiveness. No this does not give people permission to treat me like a door mat and whilst I will forgive you for your actions if they continue I will not allow you to be a part of my life, because I deserve better. However I know that I can walk away from the relationship without holding onto pain and hate because I choose to hand these over.

So big shocker I am not perfect, yes I still struggle to forgive, even more of a struggle is asking to be forgiven when I know I have stuffed up (but that's a whole different post) The forgiveness process is sometimes a daily process for me, but it is something I want to continue to work on, so I can continue to grow and be the woman I was meant to be, free of hate and anger a strong woman with a soft heart!


  1. omg this is freaky lees, last night i decided to pick a word of the year and blog about the end i woosed out on forgiveness and went with gratitude because i'm just not ready to forgive, i'm still so angry at the injustice of what others did to do you get to the point of being willing to even try to forgive?! anyway, i am at least grateful not to be like/behave in the same ways as those i'm not ready to forgive yet lol


  2. Sazz I just got to a place where I knew I was worth it! I didn't forgive for them I forgave for me, I decided I was sick of hearing a person's name and straight away getting angry about know half the time people don't even realise they have hurt us as much as they have, holding things against them doesn't do's not affecting them or their life, only yours. When you realise that, you will feel so much better about doing it..the F word that is LOL Like I said it took years to get to that point of even wanting to forgive let alone doing it. Keep at it Sazz your worth the freedom it brings. Holding onto pain isn't any good for you take back your power, that was a huge thing for me, not letting other people have that power over me. When I hear those names now I am like meh don't trust them but thats about it no more'll get there I know you will xx

  3. Great post Leesa! We just heard a sermon about forgiveness on the weekend too -- there must be something in the water, haha. :) It's one of the biggest challenges of Christianity (and humanity) IMO, but worth rising to. Well, you know, the whole "if you don't forgive, neither will you be forgiven" thing is kind of important... ;)



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