A faith transition can ruffle feathers and upset people. Forgiveness is a powerful tool to use. I have a slightly different twist on how I see forgiveness.
Forgiveness often implies that someone has hurt your feelings. Caused you pain or harmed you.
I remember once my husband told me he was concerned about my influence on the children. I thought he was being a jerk and felt resentment. I did not engage with him as much and as a result we had less connection.
What I want to point out is that the result of less connection was 100% up to me. I choose to think he was a jerk and feel resentment and then acted in a way that resulted in less connection.
What I really want in my relationship is connection. I was creating exactly the opposite of what I really wanted.
Here is where forgiveness comes into play.
My definition of forgiveness is letting go of resentment and bitterness so you can create the results you want in your life and relationships.
Here are a few points to consider:
First point – No one can cause your emotions. You have a thought about their actions that makes you feel hurt or bitter or whatever.
NOTE: What if they hit us – that is when boundaries are necessary (separate topic – see my video about boundaries HERE).
Any words they speak get interpreted by our brain and we think, “they are mean”, “they are heartless”, “they are a jerk”. Those thoughts cause you pain or hurt or resentment.
Second point – Letting go of resentment or bitterness does not mean what they did is okay. We hold on because for some reason we think that if we let go of the pain the person is not gong to be punished or held responsible for their actions. This is not true.
Third point – Feeling angry or bad or resentful does not impact the other person at all. They do not feel your emotions. Your feelings do not cause guilt or remorse in someone else. Their thoughts cause their feelings. You are only causing pain to you.
Fourth point – Love feels better than hate. Forgiveness feels better than resentment. You are feeling these feelings. What do you want to experience?
Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. The other person does not feel the bitterness and resentment only you do. It does not mean that what they did is okay or right, It means you no longer choose to feel terrible.
Interested in getting some help working through forgiveness?