When I was much much younger living with my parents and many younger siblings (I’m the eldest) I was known to be the grudge holder. I could never just forgive if someone said sorry and to move on past an argument was something alien to me. Looking back at myself I literally cringe, especially when you look back at your younger years and you realise that things that seemed life changing and monumental were really not that big of a deal. And growing up in a brown household any brown person can tell you the upholding manners and brown etiquettes was the foundation of your upbringing. Speaking back to elders was one of the most heinous crimes you could commit, you even had to perfect the balance of looking remorseful whilst respectfully looking in the eyes of someone telling you off.
So as the eldest I didn’t tolerate rudeness, if you were rude to me I would stop talking to you and could do so for a good number of days (why, I still to this day cannot answer that question), and that was because I myself could never be rude to my elders. Again if you’ve grown up brown or know of someone who has they can confirm that i. The eldest children upheld the rules in the strictest form (As they were the representatives of their parents and also the examples of the other siblings to come, and ii. Brown houses almost always consisted of either extended families within the household or with strong connections outside of the home, so even if you were the eldest sibling there were many family members you would have to answer to that were much older than yourselves.
Hopefully I have shed much of that younger self, especially the grudge holding version of my former self. But I have come to understand that that was partly because of my introvert nature, I wouldn’t confront my issues and let it all out, therefore I tend to hold on a bit longer to the things said or done to me. But holding on and not being able to forgive was not beneficial to me, I didn’t gain anything nor did it let me move on at the pace I wanted to, but forgiving did. Forgiving others not only made me be a better person but allowed me to feel better as well, so without further ado I would like to point out 5 benefits of forgiving for anything who is finding it difficult to do so, not for the person asking for forgiveness but for your own betterment.
Learning the lesson:
If you are holding on to the hurt, anger and resentment then that is where your focus lies. There might be some apparent lesson in the hurt you’ve faced (trusting too much, allowing to be treated a certain way, etc) but in this journey we call life, our main focus has to be ourselves. If someone has hurt or betrayed us, then they have shown us a part of them that maybe we hadn’t seen before but the real lesson should be self-focused, what can we learn from this about ourselves? Should we stop trusting? Do we doubt everyone and in turn become cynical? The answer is no. It is not a bad thing to be trusting, it shows that you are trustworthy (how we judge others is a reflection of how we are) but no one should be trusted blindly, you can only truly trust yourself, but when you have to place your trust in others understand that you cannot and shouldn’t solely rely on others as you are responsible for yourself and no one else, and everyone else in turn responsible for themselves and not you.
Deal with it:
When we hold on to the resentment, that ends up to be all that we are doing to deal with the matter. For every problem there is a solution, but if you are focusing on the cause you tend to lose sight of what you are able to do to help resolve the matter. If you haven’t caused the hurt then it is not on you ‘fix’ anything, but that should not stop you from bettering yourself, moving forward and dealing with whatever you can to make the situation better.
Stop the hurting:
As soon as someone hurts you the damage is already done, the hurt might last for a short while or a long period of time, but they have already passed on the infliction. I am not saying you should forgive straight away nor am I saying that forgiving will instantly wipe away the damage and hurt. But once you have dealt with the ordeal the hurt caused, and have either taken certain measure or cut off the cause altogether, is holding on to the animosity the hurt caused part of the healing or is it causing more damage? If holding on is hurting you than isn’t it better to forgive even if it just to begin the healing?
Let go and move on:
‘Holding on to a grudge’ is exactly that, you’ve taken the hurt, focused on the anger and then you are lingering in the resentment. What part of holding onto the hurt is providing you with any sort of benefits? How is it helping you move on in your life? Forgiveness does not mean accepting hurt, it does not mean tolerating malicious intent of others, it does not even mean forgetting. ‘Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’ being hurt through foolish encounters or betrayal should never be allowed to happen in the first place and forgiving for it to be repeated is ironically unforgivable. But don’t hold to the hurt, for you are only hurting yourself. Even if the encounter is unforgettable, forgive to leave it behind in the past for that is where it needs to stay so that you can move on and continue to live your life.
Forgive to flourish:
You have one life, so live it the best you can. There is always so much to be grateful for and depending how you would like to view life, it can be either filled with positivity or negativity. Every experience good or bad comes with wisdom and lessons, so use them to enrich your outlook of this journey you are on. Forgiving is the shedding of all the unnecessary excess weight that is bringing you down and holding you back. So forgive not to accept the apologies of others but forgive, in order to flourish
Sending you all lots of love and positivity Reflect. Love. Heal. Always xXx
Brown Girl R