How do you forgive someone who isn’t sorry? I’m really not sure that I’m the best person to be writing about forgiveness, because truthfully I’m very bad at forgiving people, including myself. I don’t do well with forgiveness because it’s honestly so much easier to be angry and let bad feelings fester and rot while you go around pretending everything is okay. Maybe this isn’t so much of a “how to” as much as it is a reflection of my feelings at the moment, but if it’s something that anyone can connect to, I think that that is just fine. Sometimes it feels like, honestly, who cares about a heavy burden when no one can tell you’re carrying it? If you act like everything is great, then it must be, right?
There are a few people in my life that I struggle to forgive on a daily basis, and I think about them a lot. It’s tiring and stressful and it definitely hurts, and I think that the biggest struggle is that of letting yourself feel things and emotions that are anything but happy. Why is it so hard to let go of the concept of making people be held accountable for their actions? I think that there’s an innate struggle with that concept itself because, why shouldn’t adults be held accountable? Personally, I think that’s bullshit, but humans are weird and different and apparently some people’s moral planes are skewed. The biggest problem here that I think that I struggle with the most is that no matter how much you think you do, you don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s head.
I think the biggest problem, for me at least, is accepting the fact that forgiveness needs to happen even when the person you’re holding onto doesn’t ask for it; when they don’t care (or don’t care to understand) the pain that they’ve caused, and they’re off living their life like you weren’t even a part of it. It’s so easy to want to cause them pain back, to remind them of what they did to you to try to force some sort of remorse onto them because for fuck’s sake, why wouldn’t you? My mom keeps telling me that the most important thing in life is to learn forgiveness, and as much as I know that she’s right, I am never ready to forgive. Every time that I think I’ve moved on, something will happen or I’ll think of something and no matter how minuscule it might be it takes me right back to the exact moment and I feel it all over again. I don’t like to focus on this because not focusing and not thinking is much easier than figuring all of this shit out.
I think the first and biggest plan of action is to be forgiving of myself. My biggest problem at the moment is that I have trouble with thinking that the reason that I’ve gotten hurt is because of something that I’ve done wrong; I automatically think that there’s something wrong with me. I know that that stems from insecurity and, the first move in order to be chill is to realize that sometimes people are just shitty. Things change, feelings change, that’s that. There’s nothing wrong with you because you got hurt. I think that should be the mantra and theme here. You’re not any less of a person because someone decided that they didn’t need you anymore.
Next step I think, is to realize that the situation hurts but wallowing does not help. Reliving hurtful memories over and over again is definitely not beneficial, and bitterness fixes nothing. I read a blog post once and she said “there is no excuse for bitterness in my heart. That is all on me” and let me tell you, I felt that. I don’t want to be justified in the way that I feel. I want to be able to let this shit go.
Third, fake it ‘till you make it. There’s something oddly therapeutic in working on yourself even when you really, really, really don’t think that you can fix something. It’s frustrating and hard, but my biggest challenge at the moment is acting the way that I know that I should. That sounds stupid, but it’s hard and I struggle with it every day of my life. I want to put those who hurt me on blast, I want the world to know what they’ve done, I want people to judge them the way that I have based on their very real actions. But, I will work on keeping my thoughts just as they are and where they should stay in my head. I will work on living at peace with anyone who has done me wrong because that is what’s best for me. This is an issue that we all need to work on internally because no one is responsible for how we feel internally except for ourselves.
My biggest struggle is one that I’ve mentioned before – the fact that forgiving someone is really about me. The forgiveness that I need to have for someone does not come from a place that thinks of them because they don’t care. We need forgiveness for our own inner peace and to calm the turmoil in ourselves, but we also need to forgive others in order to forgive us. Really, I don’t know that I’m the best person to be speaking on this topic because I really struggle with this every day of my life. I go through moments in my head while I’m driving, in the shower, sitting on my couch, and taking notes in class and for a moment I get filled with such rage that it sometimes scares me. I get nervous that all of a sudden I am going to spontaneously combust and explode because I don’t know how to process the information that I already know when it pops up to haunt me. I never know when something is worth speaking out against because is it worth it? Especially when it’s definitely too late to stand up for yourself.
I don’t know how to stand up for myself. That’s one of my biggest flaws as a human in general, and I know that’s on me. I let people walk all over me because I’m afraid of overreacting and I’m scared that it’s going to make people not like me anymore. This manifests in a “just say yes” mentality, and then eventually when I realize that I’ve been taken advantage of I try to let it go. Unfortunately, this means that a month later after thinking and mulling the situation over, I get myself worked up because I know that I’ve made a mistake. Making mistakes is my biggest fear, and it really sucks. But, in realizing that I need to forgive myself and forgive others to benefit my mental health, I’m working on changing that.
This is a hard thing. Chilling out and being chill is HARD for someone as stressed as me, in real life and just in my head. But I’m trying. And I want to succeed. And I think that’s my main goal.
Own your hurt, accept it and accept how you feel, forgive yourself for feeling that way, and then project your forgiveness onto whoever made you feel that you weren’t worthy. One day we’re all going to wake up and realize that everything is actually fine. We’ll go a day, and then a few days, and then maybe even a week without thinking about it, and then all of a sudden, a while later, we’ll realize that the person(s) that hurt us actually made us stronger, and we’ll be thankful for that. And that’s that.