For many of us letting go is hard for many reasons. Once our waves of anger
and inner voices grab a hold of our minds and take up rent-free space, they can
become the filter for everything we come across, whether meeting new people
and thinking they are not going to like us, being angry for no good reason or
just being afraid of what the world would mean if we could just let go of our
Through ongoing therapy, it is possible to find out the root causes of our anxieties and depressed selves. We might even find out that it all started when we were very young, and in our closest relationships, cliché as it may be.
It could be an absent parent, abusive sibling, drug-dependent relative, or what have you. The roots are different for everyone. However, how and why do you forgive those that have hurt you? How do go from here?
To forgive is an act from ourselves to ourselves, and it doesn’t involve whoever acted against us. It is the change of an old narrative that keeps us stuck in an event that happened a long time ago. It is also an extremely brave thing to do and by no means an easy task as I found out by myself.
Our old narratives also provide some degree of familiarity and control as we do not want to experience the uncomfortableness of vulnerability. We simply choose to stay within the old pains because we know them and we don’t want to open up some space for further suffering. But we don’t move on. We also won’t savour in the moments of happiness that come with finding out that there is a life beyond and after pain.
There are many guides and gradual steps riddled with information that may or may not suit anyone looking for a proven method on how to forgive. One only needs to go online and look them up. It’s either 7 steps to forgive or 30 tips on how to do it.
Perhaps the most important item of all of these articles and studies is that it’s going to take time. It’s not instantaneous or an overnight process which means words like effort, resilience, perseverance, are constant ingredients of a meal that sometimes will seem hard to stomach.
However, the rewards are not just better mental health. Forgiveness promotes a reduction in depression and anxiety and affects physical health, specifically through stress release, which lowers blood pressure and promotes relaxation, according to the American Psychology Association.
Nevertheless, forgiveness is a choice and one that you can use whenever you can. No matter how many studies one reads and therapies one takes if you are not ready for it, then you are not ready for it. I wasn’t ready for a really long time.
I can’t for obvious reason speak for others but in my journey with anxiety, I have gotten ready to forgive and let go of some of the things that kept me locked up in the safety of repetition. It made my life better, I have been able to create new relationships, I have accomplished things and feel like I am coming out of the other side, one that was closed to me for almost 20 years.
In short, forgiveness to me is a show of strength, empowerment and courage. Once you go through it, you will maybe find that out for yourself.