Forgiveness. Another word that strings along a whole case of emotions with it. Forgiveness is one of the trickiest actions as that’s just it: emotions often barricade the path to sincerely forgiving someone. This isn’t without cause, as it’s obvious the very reason that forgiveness is needed is based on a wrongdoing of another person onto you. Navigating these feelings, while also emotionally understanding that to truly forgive it will begin and end with you, is the basis of a liberating forgiveness. While everyone’s story is different, my purpose is to share how I personally moved forward to forgive someone who has impacted the entire course of my life.
My project of forgiveness began with the choices, made by the man who fathered me, that led to his absence throughout my childhood. All of the typical feelings from something of this significance were found: resentment, anger, the desire to have my questions answered. The reality was that while it was my fathers choice to not be there, no matter what happened from there on out would be entirely up to me. Yes, while I was younger I saw nothing wrong with harbouring this resentment towards him. But truthfully, once I even glimpsed at the fact of the damage my own anger was doing to me, I became internally motivated to see what I could do about it.
The resentful hatred was not even wholly based on how it impacted me, because to my family I have always maintained how much I love the way I was raised and have no regrets on that front. Are there things I may have missed out on? Sure. I still don’t know how to change my own oil and at this point I don’t even want to ask. Kidding, but about asking. For all of these so-called absences I was supposed to feel by not having a father around, I still don’t feel as though I was starved for fatherly attention. I have been blessed to have incredible people around me to make this seem relatively unnoticed. My emotions were solely based on how this in turn impacted my family, mainly my mother and my sister. While my mother has defied pretty much any stereotype surrounding how a single mother and her five children should live, it was essentially the fact that my father left her up to the challenge by herself (likely unaware of the flat-out superhero characteristics of that woman radiating beneath the surface).
As shared in previous articles, guiding your own emotions is immensely important to having a personal sense of wellbeing. It is important to understand that you will never be able to fully dictate the nature of your emotions. Comparable to how a captain navigates his ship, the direction can be guided but you will never be able to control all of the other external influences- which in this metaphor would be the wind and oceans. These outside factors are the world and everyone in it. Internalizing that you must guide yourself through it without controlling anything else is a trait of humility and acceptance,
which is crucial to living at peace with your own emotions. This is a building block of forgiveness, because as mentioned earlier, the emotional extremities felt by someone who caused you harm in any kind of way are intense and seemingly overpowering. Many times within myself I saw a power struggle between myself and the sheer exertion it took to try and control these emotions, and as a result I suffered for it. Learning to accept this way of thinking ended up relieving me of a lot of damage I was causing within myself.
The final part, and the segment that is most commonly understood, is how the act of forgiveness ends with you. It suddenly hit me that any sort of angst I was now feeling was now due to myself, as for a large portion of my life I allowed these emotions to be present. It may seem obvious, but realizing that I was inflicting this upon myself called for action and self-reflection on what I could do to help myself. But the readers digest (or blog) version is that I needed to realize what I was subconsciously doing to myself. One of the absolutely essential elements of wellbeing and self-care is how in tune you are with yourself, and I’ve alluded to this in articles previously. This is how fundamental showing compassion to yourself can be- simply paying attention to you. At the end of the day, this is a message I dwell on the most; it was this idea that made me so hungry for personal growth. Having something to inspire you helps ensure that you can get where you need to go as smoothly as possible.
Kind of like oil in a car. Anyone want to teach a guy how?
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