How do you represent forgiveness to someone who has mistreated you in the past?
How do you represent forgiveness to someone who has mistreated you in the past? Forgiveness is for you, not them. Situations that require forgiveness are RICH with opportunity. Let me back up a bit… I used to confuse “forgiveness” with having to accept poor behavior from someone. I used to think if I forgave someone of something, it meant I had to swallow my pride, shelve my own sense of right and wrong in order to find anything that resembled peace. As I got older, I felt it was getting easier to justify being angry with different people I felt had “done me wrong”. I came to a crossroad; I could either isolate myself (in the name of victim-hood) or I could learn how to see things differently. I opted for the latter. The first thing I did was write a list of every person I held a grudge against. Funny how a pattern emerged. I began seeing how my actions were eliciting the same responses in a variety of people and ways. I have to say, this is not an easy exercise. Looking at patterns and taking responsibility for my side of the street was less than pleasant. Upside, I started seeing where I could make different choices that would eventually lead me to a more peaceful/joyful place. Now, let’s talk about forgiving those that create types of pain that run hard and deep. Maybe pain stemming from actions of mistrust, whatever they may be. Situations come up to be cleared, I firmly believe this. As I alluded to above, we can either stay in the victim mindset or we can rise to a place of power. It’s THAT SIMPLE. Bad stuff happens to great people. The older the wound the more impact is has on the choices we unconsciously make. I promise you, at some point, the unhealed wound will lead you down a path that ends with (HOPEFULLY) self reflection. Now, how to forgive that person/people: I find it really helpful to TRY and see them in a neutral way. By “neutral” I'm talking about ridding the area of emotional weeds that have taken over. It’s not so much as forgiveness as it is “understanding”. At the end of the day, it’s not condoning poor behavior as much as it is finding action and power for yourself. We don’t grow in easy times, we grow when we are forced to expand. We usually are forced to expand when things are “tough”. I hope this helps. Here’s wishing you peace.