Parents walking on a nature trail with a child.

by Kayla Myers, Family Peer Supporter

April 25, 2023

Forgiveness should be a journey, not a destination. What I mean by that is, whether we need to forgive ourselves, friends/family, or people who have wronged us in our life, that can be very difficult task. That physical pain we felt, the emotional toll we went through, and the way our bodies grasped those feelings and held onto to them tight, it can feel like something you will truly never get over. The old saying goes, “Time heals everything.” Well, it sure doesn’t. The reason I say this is because over time, life keeps throwing us curveballs, or as experts, unlike myself like to call it, trauma. It starts stacking inside of us and piling up like deskwork in our brain. When this happens, we are walking through life with unresolved hurt inside of us, and then turn around and project onto others. So, the very things that hurt us in the beginning, we are now doing those same things to the ones we love, friends, our children, etc.

Counseling, self-reflection, trauma work, EMDR, and a self-wellness plan have been the steps that made a difference for me. Everyone’s journey is different, so remember that. Any effort we put into improving our overall mental health is going to make you a more forgiving person. I have learned so much about myself and been able to forgive the hurt others have caused me, that I never thought I could. Whenever forgiveness is given, that’s when the healing begins. When you can feel yourself not reacting in self-destructive ways, as a response to the doings of others, you start to feel and see the differences in yourself, and the way others perceive you. While navigating the world of forgiveness, it is also important to offer yourself an immense amount of grace. I must constantly remind myself, “I am doing the best job I know how. And if I don’t get it right, I will learn from it and not hang onto it for dear life.” At the end of the day, we oversee ourselves, right? No one else is going to come save us, I mean they can try. But if we don’t want to heal or forgive, someone else can’t do that self-work for us. When we start to process, reflect, self-reflect, and forgive, that is the example we are showing others. In return, your resilience will radiate onto others and become an example to them. Offering forgiveness after hurt is heroic, takes strength, and gives us our power back.

Forgiveness should be a journey, and offering ourselves grace while doing so, that’s the destination.


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