“I don’t wanna spend another day/Pointing fingers while im placing blame/I’m no angel, imperfect myself, cos baby I am only human/And I don’t wanna put it all on you/I admit I did some painful things, it’s true/And I’m sorry for them, no making amends/For always thinking I was innocent…”
— Leona Lewis, “Forgiveness”
It’s different when it’s your fault. You lost your friend because of something you said or did. Forgiveness is given, but things just aren’t the same. Your efforts to move forward remind you of what they meant to your life.
Letting go takes more strength than holding on sometimes. Why do we hold on to the pain that steals our peace?
My 30s have provided me insight into intimacy. People enter your life with no title or proper place, they just enter. When they settle after some time has passed, they become immovable people in your heart, statues in a sense. If you’re honest, you count on their consistent availability to restore your confidence in love and affection in friendship. You desire to be surrounded by people who love what you love and embrace culture and life as you do.
Breaking their hearts in any way is always a reflective experience. Malice is never the intent, it’s just a moment of selfish gain, lack of wisdom, or of opening our mouths that can cause pain and damage. You spoke too soon, too much or too little to protect the statue that is your friendship. We try to apologize, make it right and lessen the damage, but it’s done. As time passes, we ponder on the predicament. You haven’t heard from your ex-friend, but you miss them dearly. Do you call or withdraw? Sometimes the only choice you have is to leave with a lesson. Consequences they call it, right?
I’ve learned many lessons on the subject of “forgive and forget.” Some people choose to stand in the rubble of being pissed off and bitter while their former friend or mate builds a bridge of forgiveness. You don’t have to become this person. Here are the ways to avoid being a bitter, tainted, emotionally-withdrawn human.
1. Acknowledge To Yourself How Much of A Screw Up You Are
When we think on our laundry list of faults and imperfections, it becomes hard to not forgive. Not only because we have skeletons and dinosaur bones of secret mishaps in our closet, but because we realize how hard it is to get it right 24/7. I disappointed many people in my life and I have been given second and tenth chances. Think on your mistakes and it will minimize how grand someone else’s might appear to be.
2. Get a Grip On The Issue
There is no time to for “… and another thing while we are talking about your stupid ways.” Stay present with the real issue. Why are you so frustrated and red-devil-hot-sauce-bottle mad? Speak with clarity and give some insight to the grievance you have with the person(s). Shooting at 10 targets is not the goal, hit one target on the bullseye with your words so both parties can move forward without a reality-TV style, weave-clenching battle. Stick to the topic as best as you can.
3. Confront in Love and Move on With a Smile
I remember being ignorant to the power that my words possessed. I often found myself saying things that electrified my tongue, but electrocuted someone else’s heart. Mistakes were made early in my life believing that the sharper the tongue, the more I could slice the truth into the heart of my battle with someone. As I matured, I realized calm words open doors and mend hearts. Speak to whomever you have beef with in a way so that they can receive everything you have to say. Remember, if it’s a friend or family member, your desire isn’t to make a life-long enemy, hopefully, but to restore peace. Forgiving is not about a victory for anyone. It’s about letting go of the anger that’s holding up your life and possibly someone else’s. That’s next-level emotions right there!
You have to start telling yourself a new story about YOU! Speak a transparent truth about your feelings so you can move forward. Your family and community needs you to be on your A-Game, not stuck on something in the past. You have the power of choice! Now that’s a gift. Use it for construction, not destruction.
Chris Marvel is a life coach + motivational speaker. You can find out more about him at his website.