Should We Forgive the Abuser to Overcome the Pain?
Forgiving is an action that is sometimes very difficult to practice. To forgive means sending a message to all of those who caused us pain and suffering that our life will continue, despite what happened. It means will not waste our valuable time thinking of someone who does not deserve our thoughts.
Of course, forgiveness has the power to set us free. If it is true and we believe it, we will relinquish resentment, and the thirst of revenge and hatred. Feelings that when fed only hurt us and do not support us.
However, it is important not to confuse forgiveness with forgetting. If someone has done a lot of damage to us on a physical or psychological level, as is in the case of sexual abuse, we will not forget because our mind is prepared to facilitate learning precisely through experiences.
That mark will remain on our soul forever, but it is important that we learn to live with it and make a life that is as normal and functional as possible, despite everything.
What is forgiving, what is it not?
As we have explained, to forgive it is to stop wasting our time, our being and our life suffering for something that is unchangeable. What happened, happened and unfortunately we do not have the ability to erase that painful fact of the past, but we have the power to build our present and our future.
Forgiving is understanding that we still have a long time ahead of us to carry out new, exciting projects, to meet wonderful people who bring us much wisdom and well-being, to fall in love, travel, enjoy our hobbies. And nobody, absolutely nobody, can cut our wings, unless we ourselves allow it and give them that power.
Forgiving, in our thoughts, is more of the present and future than the past. It is abandoning the cries of what is no longer in our hands and replacing them with the excitement of what is to come. It is not leaving our mind at the mercy of harrowing and dark memories, but rather obligating it to come to the here and now.
But beware! Forgiving is not pretending as if nothing happened, as if it weren’t something important; of course it is. So forgiving is accepting, but not conforming. We must act, move, try to make the abuser to pay for what they have done and to put consequences to their actions.
Forgiving is not forgetting everything overnight; that’s impossible. You have feelings and that wound must be drained in order to heal. It is beneficial to go to therapy, have someone listen to you, understand how you’re feeling and express yourself. Over time, the wounds will heal…
The grief will lead us to forgiveness
Obviously, forgiveness is a difficult act, given that, for example, if we talk about abuse of a sexual nature, our self-esteem has sunk, fear overwhelms us and despair surrounds our being. And this is normal, so it is important to know that we can only forgive when we have worked out our grief.
If emotions exist, it is for some good reason. Nature hasn’t placed certain things just because. Negative, but healthy emotions, such as sadness, will help us integrate all that has happened and express our pain. Once this process is complete, we can carry out the act of forgiving and retake our lives or even create change and make it even better.
To get past the pain, the first thing you have to know is that feeling sad, getting angry with the world and having negative thoughts is normal, do not judge yourself for it. It is a wound that is bleeding right now.
You’ll pass through different stages: denial, anger, depression, acceptance. Do not worry, experience them as part of the emotional healing you have to go through. After all these stages and once we get to the acceptance of what happened, we can take action to forgive those who hurt us.
To do this, you must realize that people who commit wrongdoings are not bad, but rather they are sick or confused people.
You’ve got a long life ahead of you for millions of good things to happen and it is not worth staying longer than necessary to cling to the past.
You have resilience to stay afloat despite the adversity you have experienced. Bring out that strength and follow your life as normally as you can, little by little, but do not stop or abandon your projects and dreams.
In the end, you will notice that only forgiveness will set you free.
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