“You do not have to have a hand in how forgiveness deals with you. You do not have to let your emotions ride the wave of forgiveness just to make yourself feel justified for being a “good” person or otherwise; because, when you truly forgive, the outcome is always positive and the effect is glaring.”
– Ijiebor Freda
Stop trying to “prove” your forgiveness to people. Its either you’ve truly forgiven them or not. And allowing your emotions ride the wave of your forgiveness means you try to control the timeline of the process either intentionally speeding it up or slowing it down just to suit how you feel. There are people in this world who forgive quickly, take longer time to forgive or don’t forgive at all and that’s the truth.
If you’re the one who needs forgiving, you don’t get to tell the person how to forgive you. You don’t buy your way into forgiveness or guilt trip the person. You earn you way to forgiveness by being a good person. Working on you is the best way to earn forgiveness. It doesn’t even have to be to the person you wronged but just about being a decent person in general. I am a strong believer in “who you are is shown in how you treat other people”. So for me personally, the easiest way for me to forgive you is seeing that you’re actually making an effort to be a good person all round especially in the area you faulted. Another important factor to look at is that whatever the outcome of the situation in which you’re seeking forgiveness of the person for is, you should and deserve to move on and be better. You owe it to yourself to do better and make sure that the lesson builds you into being the best version of yourself.
If you’re the person forgiving, TAKE YOUR TIME. You don’t have to alter your emotions to prove that you’re a good person who forgives quickly and moves on or repairs the broken relationship. If you truly forgiving means you have to love the person from afar, so be it. If it also means you have to make effort (joint effort) into mending the relationship or totally dissolving it then let it be so. Forgiveness that comes out of a place of force only breeds contempt and long-term hatred because you will feel like you’ve denied yourself something that you should have experienced and healed from. I too have been a victim of forced forgiveness because I had to stay in the same place as the person who I had to forgive. And while truly deep down in my heart I wanted to, it just became harder because I couldn’t breathe properly and allow myself process things. Everything at that point demanded speed including how I was supposed to feel and so because of that, I had emotions that weren’t dealt with. I still found myself despising this person and neither I nor this person deserved it. So I really had to pray and ask God how best to deal with this and He told me to allow myself “feel” but also not feel outside of His will. His will is that I forgive unconditionally even if it takes me 3 weeks or 3 months to get there just as long as I get there and healing properly in the right environment allows that even quickly.
And so the journey to forgiveness began. I started creating space for myself whether my environment permitted it or not. And down the line I realized that loving the person from afar and being able to check up on the person once in a while just to be sure they were good, was fine enough for me. We all need forgiveness and need to forgive. As a Christian that’s the foundation of our faith because Christ first forgave us and as human beings, it is important for our well being in totality. Do not be afraid to go through the right process for anything especially when it has the ability to affect how you relate to people. We all deserve it.