Forgiveness is probably one of the most difficult things to battle. Forgiveness isn’t easy, it takes bravery and strength. Forgiveness is liberating. But what does forgiveness actually entail?
Forgiveness is not saying “what you did to me is okay” it is saying “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever”
I deserve happiness. You deserve happiness. However sometimes people do things that want to threaten your happiness. Forgiveness is the act of realising that you’re worth more than that and allowing yourself to be happy despite what they did.
Forgiveness does not mean excusing – C.S. Lewis
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that those things should be condoned or excused – they’re still shady acts. But forgiveness comes from knowing your happiness is bigger than that single event; your happiness is based on interactions with more than just that person.
I don’t excuse, condone or think in any way that what happened to me was okay. It wasn’t. I was sexually assaulted and there’s nothing that excuses that. Absolutely nothing. But I’m worthy of happiness, and I am really happy. I’ve grown from my experience and the positives from the experience are overwhelming. This TED talk sums up exactly how I feel about my experience. I’d never, ever wish it on anyone else but I’m more spiritual, more forgiving, more positive and more grateful in every aspect of my life than prior to my experience.
I think that I’ve moved to being able to forgive, though I still wonder if you can ever truly forgive something such as that. But it doesn’t consume me anymore and I’ve learnt to realise that my happiness is much bigger than this one person’s attempt at ruining it. I know it was not my fault because nothing about that event was my fault. To realise that it wasn’t my fault took a very long time. I no longer blame myself but it wasn’t always that way, it took forgiving myself to get to that point. I had to find forgiveness for putting myself in a situation where the evil of the world could surface. I had to overcome the shame and stigma associated with sexual assault. It took introspection and a lot of work. Essentially the moral of the story is that forgiveness isn’t easy.
Despite what I would’ve thought at the time this happened to me, I’ve come to take ownership of the event and use it for positives. It has made me see the world differently. I’m stronger in many ways. I take less crap. I’ll point out the positives to you when you’re complaining. I now know that no one thing impacts me enough to destroy my happiness. My happiness is bigger than any one person or any thing. I’m in charge of my own happiness and forgiveness got me there.