In previous years I have struggled with letting go of anger surrounded by people who have hurt me emotionally. I think this is something that we all can agree upon to some degree. Personally, I do not like to look weak and always would prefer winning over losing. At the tender age of nine years old, I began competing as a gymnast and later joined a competition cheer team for a substantial part of my youth. At this fragile age, I became a trained competitive soul, stemming from years of competing and traveling around the east coast for competitions before I even knew who I was. I found it to be a failure to let people win… and for some reason I associated forgiveness with failure, which was not okay with me. As I grew older and shifted my perspective and grew into the adult I am now, I changed. I admit, it took me some time to realize that forgiveness has nothing to do with winning or losing.
This past year I have realized that holding onto anger is giving the power to the oppressors. It is allowing those memories, people and places to hold me in the past and tie my happiness to an unmerciful chair of misery and regrets. There is this misconception around forgiveness, that if we forgive, we let the perpetrator “win.” Forgiveness is not a game of fortnite! When we learn to forgive, we are not helping the people who hurt us, but rather helping ourselves. This is essential for growth as a human being.
Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. It is becoming content with how the past has played out, knowing you cannot change it. A self-healing that only each individual can truly understand.
So put yourself first today, and choose to forgive. And while you are at it, ditch the words “win” and “lose” from your vocabulary.