From Your CRIT Counselor: Forgiveness

“In order to heal, we must first forgive, and sometimes the person we must forgive is ourselves.” – Mila Brown 

Forgiveness, in general, can be difficult. It depends on us, the person who hurt us, and what was done. The deeper the wound, the harder it is to forgive, especially if it came from someone we love and trust. 

At the end of the day, the person we hurt the most by not forgiving is ourselves. The other person probably continues to live as normal as possible and may not even be aware of how much their actions hurt us. We hold on to that hurt, reliving the pain each time we think of that person and what they have done. It is like adding salt to a wound. Holding grudges and resentment can make us angry, bitter, and physically sick.

Forgiving ourselves is sometimes difficult because we think we should have known better. We become upset for trusting someone we knew we shouldn’t. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness as it requires strength. When it comes to forgiving ourselves, it also requires compassion. Many of us are harder on ourselves than we are on others. We are our own worst critics.

Today, I encourage you to be compassionate with yourself and offer self-forgiveness. Let go of those burdens that hold you down. I read a quote recently, “When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow.” I do not know the author, but I agree with the quote. You may have made a wrong choice, but you probably decided based on what you knew at the time. You cannot blame yourself for not knowing what you did not know. Accept, forgive and move on, ready to embrace the present moment. You cannot change the past, but you can change the present and future through forgiveness.