To Forgive Means To Let Go, But It Never Means To Forget

forgive yourself
Photo by Blake Barlow

The last thing we ever want to do when we are hurt, really hurt, is to forgive the person that hurt us. Or to forgive ourselves for something we caused through our own actions.

Our minds trick us into thinking that it’s easier to ignore the pain, bury it so deep within the surface that it could never be found. By burying it we convince ourselves that we can forget, but eventually it’ll be dug up.

We can’t run from the past, we can only learn from it. And to learn from it means acknowledging our pain, and facing forgiveness head on.

To forgive means to let go, but it never means to forget.

Forgive yourself for not letting go sooner.

We’re our own worst enemy when it comes to holding onto something for too long. Whether it’s a relationship, a job, a friendship that can’t be mended. We hold on in hopes that it can change and improve. In hopes that it will suddenly be fixed.

Some things are better left in the past, and until we accept that some things don’t belong in our future or even our present, we’ll always be holding on halfway. It’s easier to look after the fact and realize that by letting go sooner we could be farther than we are now, but it’s important to forgive yourself for this. We let go at the moment we are ready, and that moment is always right when we’re meant to.

Forgive yourself for not seeing what you now see in hindsight.

It’s easy to reflect back on the past and see clearly now what we could never see before.

You replay in your mind what you should’ve and could’ve done differently. But it’s important to remember that none of that can be changed in the current moment. We learn through our experiences, and if we never made mistakes we would never be shaped into the person we are today.

It’s easy to look back and see things differently in hindsight, but actions and choices can’t be reversed, they can only be learned from.

Forgive yourself for making mistakes.

We’re all learning, and sometimes learning requires making mistakes that we normally wouldn’t make.

What’s okay is to make a mistake.

What’s not okay, is to drown in our mistakes and stay there.

Forgive yourself for not always making the best choices. After all, we’re all human and we’re all learning.

Forgive yourself for you, not anybody else.

Whether somebody else caused us pain, or we can’t forgive ourselves for a choice we made, it’s important to forgive ourselves for our own sake.

If we forgive for the wrong reasons, or for the sake of somebody else, we’re never really allowed the chance to fully let go. It’s lost temporarily, shoved in the back of our minds, but eventually the hurt will bleed right through.

Forgive because you are ready to forgive, not because you feel like you have to forgive.

Forgiveness requires strength and recognition. To forgive never means to erase, or pretend that it never happened. To forgive means to gracefully let go, in the right timing and not a moment sooner.

We can only truly forgive when we’ve acknowledged every aspect of the pain, allow ourselves to digest and feel it, then release it. After all, we all deserve to be free from the chains of the past.

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