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By Bailey Campbell
In an ideal world no one could ever do wrong, there would be no need for forgiveness (of others or ourselves), but that just isn’t reality. The truth is that people make mistakes all the time and it’s how you deal with the aftermath in a relationship that really determines what happens next. Here are some ways to find forgiveness in your heart when your significant other lets you down.
#1) Know that Forgiveness Is the Stronger Choice
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Sometimes people get caught up in the part of being angry where they feel righteous and powerful, but this is the easier option. It’s easy to play the victim and make someone else feel bad for what they did than it is to rise above the indiscretion and say “you know what, I love you anyway.” This doesn’t mean that you should let someone mistreat you, but it means that when it’s possible to move forward that opportunity should be embraced.
If anything, forgiving someone can be a help for you, not even necessarily a choice for them. They will have to live with their actions either way but you have the option to stew in pain or to release it and refuse to let them get you down.
#2) Know that Everyone is Doing Their Best
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
Even when people are doing something that seems to be pretty terrible, just know that it is reflecting their current state of consciousness. Where we are is where we are. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t all be striving to be better every day, (on the contrary, we should), but it does mean that we still have things to learn and for all of us that includes how we treat other people.
In a relationship it is important to know the difference between someone who is going to be good enough and someone who might have a little more learning to do before they will be able to treat you the way you want to be treated.
#3) Let More Go
“The harder it is to forgive someone else, the more I am responsible. When I understand and forgive myself, forgiving others is easy.” -Pamela Picard
If your mind wants to forgive someone but your heart is refusing it, you might consider what else you’re not forgiving in your life. Often our reluctance to forgive someone else comes from the fact that we’re not comfortable forgiving at all because we haven’t experienced how peaceful it can be and instead see it as giving up.
If we haven’t forgiven ourselves for something, this will play out in our relationships as a hard wall. We keep it there because we’re unsure of what will happen when we release control and allow whatever flows in when anger flows out. Punishing ourselves can make us punish others as well.
#4) Consider the Lesson
“You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.” –Maya Angelou
You can’t really control what sort of a lesson the other person in the situation is going to learn, but you can consider what lessons you can take away from the situation. Whether it’s a reminder to think before you speak or it’s a reminder that your man is just a human, there is always something to take away from a challenging situation.
As long as proper communication commences, having trials in relationships is not necessarily a bad thing. We can grow as individuals and as couples when we face challenges and rise above them.
#5) Exercise Your Trust
“Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.” –Marianne Williamson
In a relationship where someone hurt us, we are given the opportunity to practice trusting that it won’t break us, and that it won’t happen again. We really have no control over what other people do to us (besides keeping healthy boundaries in place where necessary), but we do always have the opportunity to re-frame what the situation means to us and prove to ourselves that we can be fair and reasonable even when we’re hurt.
Do you have a hard time forgiving and letting go when someone wrongs you? Let us know if any of these ideas made an impact on you!