I Believe in Forgiveness

May 25, 2017
By , Kalaheo, HI

As somebody once said, “to forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” I believe in forgiveness. I believe that, in order to feel peace within ourselves, we must forgive and let go of the things that hurts us the most.

I have so much forgiveness to give. I forgive my mother and father for what they have put me through, I forgive all the drugs, prison bars, sex with strangers, and the priorities that were above me. I forgive my brother for ruining my self image. I forgive myself for the hate I lashed out on both my mind and body. I even forgive the boys that kicked me in the back on the elementary school bus. I have so much forgiveness to give.

Forgiving someone for hurting you is the clouds moving away from the sun, exposing its warm rays, it's refreshing. So why does forgiveness hurt so much? To forgive someone you must first acknowledge the wrongs that they committed, this is a hard process that could take years, but it is vital in order to forgive them. Then you must accept what they did was wrong and then let it go. I remember trying to tell my father how my childhood with him has damaged me, I listed off the biggest memories that left the biggest bruises as he said “you’re wrong, you brainwashed, misinformed little girl, call me when you learn to become a proper daughter”. Then, six months later I get a call from him in prison saying how much he loves me, he never says sorry but he does start over, at this, instead of staying angry, I let it go and forgave him.

Parents have a tendency of messing up their children, it's almost inevitable, but there's a point where too much is too much. When a child is exposed to “bad” things the child is left with problems, a child who grows up watching their parents do drugs , is three times more likely to do them than a child whose parents did not. I forgive my parents for making me part of that ratio and take it upon myself to be that one who doesn't follow after their parents footsteps. Sadly some kids are not as fortunate, they let that number influence them and become just like the people they hate and then blame those people. Some kids are forced to grow up too fast because of the way their parents treat them, and I forgive mine for making me become a responsible, independent person when I was only a toddler.

Many people forgive their mother and fathers, along with the others that have harmed them, while others don't. Forgiveness is important because of the weight it lifts, it also keeps the heart light, especially if the people who have done you wrong has something terrible happen to them. If that person suddenly leaves without you forgiving them there is a common feeling of guilt that eats away at you for the rest of your life. I remember when my father was extremely sick and was expected to die, although I was still hurt by what he last said to me I went ahead and called him just to say I loved and forgave him. It did not mean much to him but it left me feeling good. Other people are not as lucky though. When a man is angry at his ex-wife for winning everything in the divorce, including their two children, he is left fuming and spiteful, but, out of nowhere she falls ill and dies and he realizes he wasn't as angry as he really thought he was and now feels guilty for never forgiving her and even sees how he was in the wrong because his kids got a better life with her. Another time forgiveness makes you feel weightless and lighter is when a girl is sexually abused by her older brother for years and years and is left damaged and hurt. She doesn't understand why she can't get involved in relationships and why she breaks down at the thought of any sexual relationship, but once she accepts what her brother did and forgives him, (which does not imply that she becomes friends with him, just that she accepted and made peace with the situation), she is able to move on. To move on she will be able to begin the healing process and learn how to rebuild and move on, of course the memory will always be there and it will have made a scar but the scar will be healed and smoothed over.

Why do we forgive the people that constantly let us down? To forgive is to lift a hefty weight off our mind and heart. Although the scars and the issues caused by the problems may still remain at least the weight can be lifted once we forgive those who have harmed us. I have forgiven my parents, and brother, for the PTSD, anxiety, and depression they have left me with. 13-50% of youth exposed to family violence are diagnosed with PTSD. PTSD is a disorder that stops the flight or fight alarm in our brains usually causing a person to freeze. This is something I have, although I am left with scars I have accepted these issues as my own and acknowledged they were caused by my parents and brother. By doing this I have forgiven them. No longer angry and spiteful I am able to go through life more effortlessly as I had before forgiving them.

Forgiveness has made me feel more weightless and happier, forgiveness has helped me move on in life, forgiveness can mend broken hearts and heal scars, forgiveness is strength, and forgiveness is what I believe.

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