Forgiveness is a funny thing. I find myself forgiving certain people over and over and others not so much. But I think for a long time my concept of what forgiveness means was a little bit skewed. I thought that it meant whether or not that person got to stay a part of my life but it isn’t about that at all. Forgiveness is about self-care. It has nothing to do with whether or not the other person deserves it. You can forgive a person and still chose to sever ties with them. I feel like it is more about letting go of the anger associated with those feelings.
When someone does something hurtful you have every right to get upset about it. But after that initial upset it is important to sit back and evaluate. Did that person do the thing intentionally? Do they have a consistent track record for that sort of thing? Does what happened conflict with the direction you are taking your personal goals? If I answer yes to any of these questions I begin to consider if I’m going to keep a person around or not. But whether or not I let them go, I forgive them so that I can move on and be happy. That person you cut from your life isn’t sitting around brooding about how much they hurt you. They’ve moved on to the next person or are engaging in whatever coping skills they have to avoid dealing with the things they do. Holding on to the pain they caused you is only holding you down. It is keeping your focus backwards when it is far better to be looking ahead of you.
Similarly, it is important to forgive yourself for the mistakes that you make. Holding all that regret and self-loathing hits the confidence hard. Everyone makes mistakes, that saying is around for a reason. Plus as long as you’re taking lessons away from your mistakes they’re more like learning experiences anyway.