Updated: Jan 24, 2019
The girl was miserable. Her boyfriend whom she loved and worked with could not accept that she was doing a much better job than him.
He went out of his way to make her feel that and at one point made some nasty remarks about her, what she does, and accused her of using him to get a job. Two years had passed and the now ex-boyfriend at this point realized his huge transgression and was doing his best to ask for forgiveness going out of his way to his embarrassment and shame to right a wrong. The hurt was so deep that in her rage the girl told her ex-boyfriend that she would never forgive him and allow him to kill her soul again. The girl looked dejected as her best friend told her to forgive her ex-boyfriend not just for his sake but for hers. Life has continued and the world has revolved but she has stayed stuck in that painful break-up two years ago.
The best friend wisely pointed out that for her to truly move on with her life she has to forgive her ex-boyfriend.
That scene from a drama movie remained with me for some time as I pondered the truth of what the best friend said. When someone hurts you it usually isn’t easy to forgive and then forget the person and the circumstance. Quite rarely do we brush things off and move on to other things. Most of the time we tend to replay the painful scene in our minds over and over again. We try to analyze what went wrong and relive the hurt we felt at that moment.
How to move on
Sometimes, we think of ways on how to exact revenge or prevent something similar from happening again. On the other hand, some people because of extreme pain choose to ignore the incident or forget it entirely. There is absolutely no recollection of past hurtful events. In all those cases, we unconsciously harbor a deep anguish and anger toward those who hurt us. An article¹ from the Johns Hopkins Medicine website showed that keeping negative feelings and unforgiveness can result to physical health issues. My eight year-old niece was periodically picked on by a classmate and a church friend. It was interesting to note, however, that a few days after an incident or after the friend or classmate apologizes, they go back to being friends. Watching them play and have fun together one will never know that there had been a few problematic incidents between them.
The movie ended with the girl finally releasing forgiveness to her much relieved and grateful ex-boyfriend. There were able to work together again and there was a hint of a possible renewal of their old relationship. A movie lasts about 90 to 120 minutes. Conflicts occur and are resolved in that short span of time. Life, however, does not work that way.
Sometimes, conflicts get resolved after a long period. People’s experiences and emotions take time to be processed and healed. Releasing forgiveness is most difficult as we try to hold onto what we think is a leverage against the person who hurt us.
By doing that however, we are letting anger, hate, and other negative emotions to take root in our hearts and fester there. Whether we like it or not those feelings will have damaging effects to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. What we think of as power or control over someone is actually a manacle that traps us from having our own freedom. It is running in circles of destructive feelings with forgiveness as its only way out. When we take that step, what weighed us down will be lifted and then we’ll be released into true healing. As we step into healing, we face what hurt us and allow ourselves to work through the pain.
Through prayer, believing the promises of His word, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the deep-seated hurts will be addressed and uprooted. This will make way for planting new seeds of love and restoration.
1. Healthy Connections. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2018, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_connections/forgiveness-your-health-depends-on-it