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In my own life, forgiving others was not something that I was taught to do. I was always taught that I had a lot of sins that needed to be forgiven, but I never saw forgiveness for others practiced until I had to start doing it myself.

Our hurts, our pains, our lives to this point have all been dictated by our emotional selves. This is understandable. I totally get it. It is fine that, for a little while, we are so mad at anyone else that we would love nothing else than to see them have to walk down the busiest street in town, wearing the most ridiculous attire, singing “I’m a little tea pot,” loudly as though they were singing along to their favorite Metallica tune. I get it. I have been there.

Forgiving others was hard for me because I always figured if someone hurt me, it was on purpose.

We choose what we want to recall of our own memories. We choose the uglies because that is what we have been taught through being shown only a victim mentality. I know this one very well. It is not hard to learn a lesson of being someone else’s victim if that is what everyone in a child’s life believes themselves to be.

I love my mother, and I hate to use her as the example, but the truth is that I now know, that while she did not teach me outright to be someone else’s victim, she showed me that by her example. I believed for a very long time, that in order for me to forgive, I had to make sure that everyone in my life knew that someone else had wronged me.

We humans do NOT want to forgive others. We want them to pay the fullest, heaviest price for the sins that they commit against us. In reality, it is not an actual sin against us, but is an indicator to us that they have not actually studied themselves and explored their own feelings of hurt. Even in church, too many people don’t understand what “turn the other cheek” means. Turning the other cheek means to hear the other person out, to allow them, through your listening, to be able to see the sin in their own energy.

The act of forgiving is not as simple as too many pastors in our lives have made it seem. It is hard for people to admit that they are sorry for the hurts they have caused.

When we hang onto wrongs for too long, it is all we can see. You can choose not to hang on to the anger and pain from the past. The best way that I know to begin the healing process is to learn by first starting with our very selves. We have to let go of the past, because it is no longer there. We need to stop believing that people will love us more if we tell them that we are in pain.

It is great to wallow, for a little while, but eventually that shit gets old, and eventually we find out that it got us nowhere. It is only in that act of forgiveness for others who have hurt us that we will also find the strength to forgive ourselves.

Just Sayin’