"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."
-Lewis B. Smedes
Forgiveness is hard. Harder still when the wounds are still open. I’ve been taught to forgive because hatred is a burden. Just let it go so that I myself can heal. Sounds easy right? Who wouldn’t want to be free of pain? Of the emotional turmoil that can make you question your sanity? Who wouldn’t want to be at peace?
Except, letting go is not easy. When you trust someone and you let them in, only to have them shatter your trust, the hurt you have to overcome in order to forgive can seem insurmountable. What I’ve learned through that process is, it is ok to cry. Just because that person hurts you, doesn’t mean that you have to act strong and have everything in your life be ok. It DOES HURT. And crying doesn't make you weak, or somehow gives that person power over you. It's just a way to let out the hurt.
However, something that I've found have helped me is knowing that forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. It doesn’t mean letting that person back into your life or trusting them again. But, if you feel like that's what best for you, there’s also nothing wrong with that.
Forgiving someone whom you trusted who ended up breaking that trust means that, you’ve forgiven them for failing you. It means that you’re taking back the power to heal and to trust again. That you're taking back the power to believe in someone else again.
That's not to say it's an easy process. I'm not sure it should be. Just remember to keep yourself open. Losing the ability to trust only hurts you in the end. Regaining your ability to trust is the best revenge you have against the cruelest of betrayals.
So, to everyone out there who's been hurt by a loved one, whether it was a family member, a friend, a partner, or whoever it was, I hope you can find the strength within you to forgive them and say goodbye, or if you'd prefer, to reconnect.