4 Ways To Forgive the "Unforgivable"
Sometimes, people can really disappoint us. Maybe you found yourself in an argument that burned out of control like a wildfire, where there seemed to be no hope for forgiveness nor reconciliation. Words are powerful and usually unforgettable. You start reading or watching videos about "toxic people" or "narcissism"---but be careful how you diagnose someone, because it may have been a knee-jerk reaction toward a previous action. Too many people use these terms to justify what these people have done to them. Many of us like to play victim and use these terms to make the other person look or feel bad. But technically, not everyone who hurts you is in fact, a narcissist.
Here are my 4 ways to truly forgive. You may not agree with my methods, but they work for me, even if there is zero reconciliation whatsoever.
This method works well, because you're acknowledging and apologizing for your reaction. That's OKAY---it's not like you're saying, "It was all my fault." It takes two to tango. By saying "I'm sorry" first, lets the person feel validated, and they start to analyze their own previous actions, and hopefully, will apologize back. Whenever my mom and I would have a spat, she would apologize first, (I was usually in the wrong of course) -- and then I would give her a big ol' bear hug and say, "I'm sorry too, Ma!" We'd both say at it the same time, "I don't like when we fight." She was the most forgiving person I knew. This is why I do this. It just works, and when it doesn't, you have the conscience knowing that you did the right thing on your part. It's a win-win situation. You cleared your side of the static. You will be able to sleep at night.
Pray For Them
"Why would you pray for someone who hurt you so badly?" Because they're human---they were part of my life and they deserve prayer and forgiveness. People who claim they follow Jesus forget about this scripture:
"Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'" ---Matthew 18:21-22
This is basically telling us to forgive for all eternity---keep forgiving, even if the person wrongs you again. Many will disagree, but we are all flawed. A good way to look at this is: keep in mind that this person may do something similar again in the future. Realize that this may or may not be a personality trait---a pattern that they've developed since childhood. If you truly love whoever this person is, forgive them and pardon that aspect of their character 'flaw' and point out all the good that they've brought in your life.
I am not saying to put up with emotional or physical abuse, I am only speaking in terms of a petty argument between friends, family or spouse. You can forgive abusive behavior, but you can decide not to be reconciled with this person for safety reasons. I wanted to make that clear.
Do not talk badly about them, do not slander them or tell lies about what happened. If you do have to talk about what happened, do it in a "matter of fact" kind of way. If the person is talking poorly of you, keep in mind that if they have a rap sheet of this continued behavior, most people will listen with a grain of salt. They already know what this person's about. If they believe this person, then they weren't your friends to begin with. I have a motto that I always use---whatever someone thinks of me is none of my business. If someone lied about me or treated me unfairly, I immediately forgive, and if they don't accept it---I quickly move on, because I have no time for bitter people in my life. None. I also have no tolerance for those who are never accountable for their bad behavior. Let their track record speak volumes for those who are listening to their side of the story.
Forgiveness begins when you're able to look at people with compassion. No matter how much they hurt you---you stop being the victim. You stop thinking, "Poor me," and you start saying, "Thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for teaching me the lesson that I needed to learn, even if that lesson was 'I never want to experience that ever again,' ---thank YOU. Because that lesson I will carry with me forever. Thank you for empowering me to find myself in the midst of darkness. I will no longer be a victim. I will no longer hold a grudge. I will no longer be angry. And I now let you go in love. I wish you nothing but the best, and yet I thank you for everything you've taught me." Some people are just not "lifers"---they're only here for a reason or season. Accept that and wish them well. Letting go is a beautiful process in many ways.
When you refuse to forgive someone, many people find it difficult to hear from God when they're praying. Unforgiveness blocks the ability to hear God. He's giving you a clear message. If you don't forgive them, then God won't forgive you---that's straight out of the Bible. But it's not to forgive just because the Bible said so---do so with a genuine heart. Without a genuine heart, you're just following a book of rules like the Pharisees did. Jesus didn't like "religious people"---He loved those who had a genuine relationship with Him.
Let your heart be clear. Apologize, take accountability, forgive often, tell your loved ones how much you care about them, and never miss a day on enjoying the people who appreciate you and surround you with unconditional love. When you put love into the universe for God to handle, you are also getting love back in return. It's the laws of attraction. You'll become a beacon of light, and no one will understand why people are flying toward you like a bunch of moths to a light. Your light will either attract or...offend the demons in certain people.
I hoped this helped in some way. I was drawn to write this is up today for some reason. Maybe it was a message just for you.
With love always.
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog at DebsCucina.com for some of her famous recipes and check out her Instagram full of food videos!