By: Penélope Lara (Translated by Allison Párraga)
In the “Conversando con tu Vecindad” (“Talking with our Neighbors”) group, we were touched by a reality affecting many women, one which Andrea (not her real name) shared with us:
The strength that she mustered to express a soul-crushing sentiment, one which filled her with resentment and confusion, was huge. But this strength allowed her to reveal it to us. When we feel the need to tell something that we’ve kept hidden, it frees the heart.
WHAT WE NEVER THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN
When people who are important in our lives fail us, we torment ourselves such that we feel a pressure in our chest and sadness and anger. This fills us with negativity that runs the risk of turning us into cold, resentful people.
We often want others to be just like us, to be good human beings, to think as we do. We want them to have the same good heart that we possess, but we forget that other hearts are different. We do not always share the same values, habits, beliefs or concepts of goodness.
While these people may be different, we can learn to have affection for them. But when they fail us, we are susceptible and sensitive to acts that we had perhaps believed were never possible. We shut down over the damage they have done to us and our daily peace of mind is disrupted. It doesn’t occur to us that the best things we can do in such a situation is to forgive.
It doesn’t matter if we ever receive an apology, or if what was done to us was very painful and “unforgivable”. We must be strong and forgive. Because it is true what is said, that “only those truly courageous spirits know how to forgive.” .
HOW DO WE GET TO FORGIVENESS?
The first step toward forgiveness is to open up and talk about it so that we may unburden ourselves. We shall cry as much as necessary and perhaps even choose to distance ourselves from the people in question in order to clear our thoughts. Especially if they are hurting us.
For the one who has hurt us – be he/she a romantic partner, our father, our mother, our children, our aunt or uncle, or anyone – the act of forgiveness will bolster our mental health and help us to not develop a heart that is filled with bitterness, hate or anger.
IT IS TIME TO FORGIVE
It doesn’t matter whether or not we verbally express forgiveness toward the person that hurt us, either because we are fearful or because we believe it may come across as an acceptance of the damage caused us. Rather, the act of forgiving will unburden us. We will feel that peace and freedom that was lacking, the absence of the dagger we carried in our chest, and we will leave behind the anger and bitterness.
Consequently, if we allow things to negatively impact us in this way, we will be unable to live a peaceful and harmonious life. We are the ones who decide if a situation or an individual affects us. We choose whether or not to gather the strength to forgive. We must be brave, even if it hurts or is uncomfortable. We must do it because the strength of forgiveness will bring us tranquility and peace.