A very freeing revelation in life was realizing that people didn’t think like I thought. I think it is a natural thing to assume that people’s thought processes are all similar. But they really aren’t.
That revelation makes it easier to forgive. It makes it easier to set boundaries. And it makes it easier to live in peace.
It can be easy to hold on to anger. Forgiveness is hard. But it is easier with understanding.
When I truly learned the power of forgiveness, my life had so much more peace. There was someone who had hurt me for many years. There was so much anger, pain, betrayal, self-doubt, depression, and questions left unanswered. So much time was spent thinking that he must have had thoughts of me and then decided against me. It would have been natural for him to think of me. Anyone in his position would have thought about me. Why didn’t he care how I felt? Why wasn’t I a consideration? There were too many years spent broken, with no answers and no resolution.
And then I learned. He didn’t think like me. He wasn’t thinking against me. He just wasn’t thinking of me. He didn’t feel things like I did. And it wasn’t because he was evil. It was because he was a different person than me. And he had different values and different ideals of life than I had.
Did all that make the way he treated me ok? No. But understanding these things made it easier to forgive him. I forgave him for not being what I wanted. I forgave him for not being what I needed. And I forgave myself for all the time wasted being upset and hurt.
That was decades ago. And the thing I’ve learned about forgiveness is that it gets easier. There are still many moments spent in prayer asking God to help me forgive. And there are many times forgiving, and forgiving, and forgiving again until it sticks!
Forgiveness is not weakness. It does not mean you remove all boundaries and allow for damaging behavior to continue. Forgiveness is powerful. It is freeing. And it is peace.
Tonight I am thankful for the chance to see how much better life can be with forgiveness and peace. I am thankful for boundaries to keep life healthier (P.S. I recommend the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud! Total life changer!) And I am thankful that it is possible and sometimes very healthy to love someone from a safe distance away.
*And sometimes a little chocolate helps with the forgiveness process too 😉