Forgiveness isn’t something you do for someone else; it’s something you should do for yourself.
Forgiveness isn’t about letting someone off the hook; it’s about letting yourself finally be free from all the negativity that has kept you captive.
A few days ago, a friend and I had a conversation about forgiveness. My friend was struggling with a lot of anger and resentment towards someone who had hurt her in the past, and she was keeping receipts of everything that person had done throughout the years. Whenever she saw me or one of her other close friends, she would immediately start reciting those receipts and go on for at least an hour. A few days ago, she ran into me and began her usual vent. As I looked at her, angry one moment, sad the next, wounded for a second, then pessimistic the next, I saw a reflection of my previous self in her.
Last year, I encountered a few people and situations that greatly hurt me. I was in pain all the time, and whenever I got the chance, I would vent out all my anger and bitterness to my family and friends, furiously telling them all the terrible things that others did. I was in a constant state of unhappiness, and I hated myself for that. I didn’t like the negative person I had become, and I really missed the happy, optimistic person I used to be. I wanted to go back to who I was before, and it took me quite some time until I finally realized the only way I could do that was to forgive.
It’s something everyone says you should do, but I never understood why. If someone does something wrong, he or she should pay a price for that. There should be justice, not some forgiveness that just lets them off the hook.
But after coming across an article on forgiveness, my thoughts changed. The article said that forgiveness isn’t something you do for others, it’s something you do for yourself. And forgiveness isn’t letting someone off the hook, it’s letting yourself finally be free from all the negativity that has held you captive.
In the past, my starting point with forgiveness had always been “others.” I thought forgiveness was something I did for someone else, to let them off the hook, to let them get away, which is why it was difficult for me because I felt the bad person was getting an advantage in this situation. And what was I left with? Nothing but a broken heart.
But this article made “yourself” the starting point. Forgiveness is for yourself; it’s your decision to no longer let the people and things that hurt you continue to impact and control your emotions for the worse. When you choose to forgive, you give yourself the gift of freedom. Anger, bitterness, sadness, and hatred no longer have a hold on you because you’ve chosen to let all that go, and when you let all those negative emotions go, happiness starts to find its way back into your life because you’re no longer blinded by your past pain pain.
“Well, that’s easier said than done,” my friend said to me after I encouraged her to forgive that person and explained my reasoning. And I totally agree. It also took me quite some time before I could finally understand and choose to forgive. But everything in this world that is truly good for you is often easier said than done, and the first step is always the hardest, but once you take that first step, it feels so good, and you’ll just want to keep going. Trust me.
但後來一篇文章改變了我對原諒的理解。文章裡說原諒不是為了別人而是為了自己，原諒不是放過別人而是放過自己。我長久以來對原諒的理解是由「別人」當出發點 – 原諒是為了別人，是放過他們，讓他們能夠 get away，所以我很難去原諒因為好處都被壞人拿走了，我還有什麼除了一顆破碎的心？但是這篇文章卻把 「自己」成為原諒的出發點 – 原諒是你自己決定不在讓那些傷害你的人事繼續負面影響和控制你的情緒。當你決定原諒，你就得到自由，因為你決定放掉所有的苦毒，難過，憤恨。而當你放下那些，快樂才有機會再次進入你的生命。你會開始發現你人生現在和未來的美好，因為你已經不再被以前的傷害的痛苦所蒙蔽。