Forgiveness is no mean feat. It’s bandied around by many, implemented by few.
Recently, I found myself in a situation where forgiveness was something bandied my way, and yet it needed to be given to someone who didn’t feel they needed to be forgiven.
Through my situation, with someone who let me down and betrayed my trust, I realized that I had a very big part to play in what had happened. Was it my fault? I don’t believe so. Did I contribute to the outcome? – absolutely.
This is the part we all find so tricky with forgiveness. Accountability and Acceptance. You see, we need to take accountability in our part of what happened in any given relationship. Friends, partners, colleagues. It usually takes 2 to tango, unless there is an imbalance of power, then that can be something quite different all together. However, for the most part in an equal relationship we both have a part in the result.
That does not mean however, that we need to accept what is considered bad behavior. When people behave badly they are toxic.
Toxic people are in pain. Unfortunately, they don’t know it. They are hurting and spreading that hurt around.
It looks like put downs, controlling, snide remarks, blaming others, victim statements, the world is against them, as they are against themselves inside. The war going on inside them is projected onto us.
Once we get to this place of understanding, we can forgive. Forgiveness is as much for ourselves as it is for the other. Anger, resentment, contempt hurt us, from the inside out.
Let it go. Emotionally healthy people, don’t make others feel bad about themselves. Healthy people elevate others. They lift them up, support them, hold their hand, listen, encourage, and are aware of the their own triggers. They wish to resolve disputes in a fair, balanced way, without resorting to childlike actions.
No one is perfect, yet no one should make you feel bad about yourself, your life, your family or your choices. Don’t doubt yourself – healthy people don’t cause pain, nastiness and hurt to others. Forgiveness is not about allowing or accepting bad behavior from other people. It’s not about forgetting what they have done. What it is about is making sure we don’t carry that around on our shoulders. Never forget people are consistent, how they treat you, is how they treat everyone. If they don’t smile for you, they’re probably not smiling for many.
If we are the sum of the 5 people closest to us, have a think about whether any of those have toxic behaviors.
If they do, think about taking them out of your inner circle. You can wish them well. Yet never forget, your emotional health is the key to a happy life.
The only person you can change is you, and with toxicity in your life, it’s a weight you can no longer carry.