Forgiveness is a simple word, but it’s hard to do when you’ve been hurt.
I know better than anyone how hard it is to forgive someone especially when they don’t necessarily deserve it… but here’s the thing, everybody deserves it.
“Hurt people, HURT PEOPLE.“
I’ve always struggled with forgiveness, not in the sense that it is hard for me to forgive, it isn’t at all, it makes me feel better and lifts the weight of anger I’d been carrying off of my shoulders. But now I feel like people take advantage of the fact that I am so forgiving and can just walk all over me. Sometimes I feel like I am too forgiving. Is there such a thing as too forgiving? Maybe I don’t need to be. I have the tendency to forgive and to try and find the human side of whoever has done me wrong, knowing that they are mistreating me and saying hurtful things because they are fighting their own battle within themselves. Hurt people, hurt people. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I know what it is like to be hurting, I know what it feels like to be lost and at a confusing place in life. I know what it is like to be fighting with inner demons and I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to go through that alone. If I’m available, and I can help, I’m going to.
But now I feel as though I have become too forgiving, and my kindness is mistaken for weakness. People begin to take my kind nature for granted. A huge problem with this is that I often end up hurting myself. I hurt my own feelings by forgiving someone and trying to reach out and be kind to them, then allowing them to turn around and spit all over it. You can’t be there for someone if they clearly do not want you to be. This is something that I need to find a balance with. Forgiving but not forgetting. This is what I consider my biggest flaw and the one major thing I wish I could change about myself…
But the irony is, so many people tell me how good it is that I am so forgiving, compassionate, and want to help people. Why should I be embarrassed of something that is considered a “positive quality” by so many people?
If God instructs us to forgive, love thy neighbor, and encourage each other… Why do I continue to get my feelings hurt by doing so? Probably because I have a hard outer shell but I also have the tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve.
This world can be so cold and cruel, but there is also so much goodness and light in this world. And maybe I will continue to hurt myself in the process of forgiving others, and building them up. But the peace of mind, knowing that I did what I could to try and make a difference and help someone out, is more than worth it to me. And how dare anyone tell me I am excessive or psycho for doing so.
Life is short, too short to have grudges and bitterness towards each other…
One last thing I want to quickly cover, which I feel ties into this perfectly, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” WRONG. Words do hurt. It is proven that people remember the hurtful things said to them and about them far more than the positive. There is so much truth in that little phrase we learned as children “treat others the way you would want to be treated.” Words hurt. Words are damaging. Be careful the words you speak.
Be kind. And above all else, love.