TL;DRWhat forgiveness is and isn’t, healing with or without closure, and staying out of toxic relationships with Mysticsense.
The surefire way of how to erase someone from your mind when they have hurt you and how to feel love again is conventionally said to be by simply forgiving them. It is also said that you are negative about love and are unable to have any form of relationship with anybody at all unless that forgiveness is granted by you. However, NOT being careful about being too available to people who continually hurt you is not a way to generate love energy, unfortunately, and sometimes, forgiveness is defined as saying what happened is okay, and you allow the person unlimited access to your life again as if nothing happened.
Some people will try and guilt you into “forgiving and forgetting” by insisting you will be either punished by your god if you don’t forgive or that your god will withhold forgiveness from you if you don’t forgive everybody for every last thing they ever did to you. This doesn’t sound like the best love advice, does it? Is it crucial to “forgive and forget” and is it even necessary to forgive at all to heal from heartbreak? Even if you do forgive, is it true that love always finds a way to heal pain even if there isn’t any form of closure?Join us at Mysticsense to explore heartbreak, forgiveness, and healing today.
What is Forgiveness?
Merriam Webster online defines to forgive as:
“1:to cease to feel resentment against (an offender).
2a:to give up resentment of or claim to requital.
b:to grant relief from payment of.”
Forgiveness is said to be moving on from what happened, putting it in the past, and sometimes, it entails repairing a relationship. Sometimes, whatever happened changes a relationship, however, and trust is gone forever. Sometimes the damage caused is irreparable, and the offender is simply not sorry. Many religious traditions implore people to accept that human beings are imperfect and to focus on not doing harm to others, but if you have, to right the wrongs you have caused. Yom Kippur is a perfect example of this.
It is believed in Judaism that their god forgives things done against him by people, but it is human beings who must forgive harm done against them- and they are absolutely not required to forgive although they can. Judaism encourages people to examine themselves often, and to go to the people they have hurt, and in true contrition, say they are sorry, and that they know what they did was wrong. There is no reward from their god for forgiving, and their god does not withhold forgiveness if they don’t forgive. If they have not gone to apologize for anything at all in the year, at Yom Kippur, they are to go and do that. The emphasis is on the offenders being sorry, and repenting- making sure that they don’t do the wrongs they did again. It is accepted in Judaism that we all fail, but that we can all do better.
Called “The Sabbath of Sabbaths”, Yom Kippur is “The Day of Atonement” and people fast, pray to their god, apologizing for whatever they did that offended him, attend worship services, and do charitable works on the day of and the days leading up to it. While the emphasis is on forgiveness, it is also on atonement. Many offerings are given at the temple, and people confess and pledge to do better. No atonement is granted without confession and repentance by their god at Yom Kippur.
Getting Away from Toxic People
Some people say that to heal emotionally, they have to put out of their minds what happened to them, as if it never actually happened, resuming a relationship with no changes. We each process emotional pain and do what we need to do in order to heal ourselves, and for those who need to heal in this way, it is their right. What about other people who simply can’t emotionally deal with resuming a relationship with the person who harmed them so badly? Getting away from them, even if they are your best friend, spouse, family member, parent, or child is frowned upon by many. However, nobody has the right to demand that you stay in a relationship with somebody who you feel is toxic to you.
If the relationship is damaging, abusive, or emotionally drains you, it is not your responsibility to continue it. You don’t owe people who hurt you anything. They actually owe you their apologies and they owe it to you to make up for what they did. What of they don’t but they still expect to be welcome in your life? If you want to continue the relationship, you can always work to set boundaries with them, but you absolutely don’t have to. It is not your job to be in relationships with people who are toxic to you. How do you know if the relationship is toxic? Here are a few things to consider: 10 Signs of Toxic Person & How to Stay Away From Them | Mysticsense
How to Deal with “Frenemies”
Lord Shadow, the author’s mentor and Priest often speaks of what he refers to as “pet rattlesnakes.” These are people who are like a pet rattlesnake which is a living being that you take care of and love, but who could kill you or harm you very badly at any moment. The author does not keep “frenemies” or “pet rattlesnakes”, however plenty of people do. For those who keep “pet rattlesnakes” or “frenemies”, Lord Shadow recommends “Never turn your back on them.” Keep your eye on them, watch their words and behavior and be prepared. They could strike at any moment! Have a plan in place in the event they start trouble, and flat out tell them it’s not okay. Some people are never capable of not causing trouble, even if they don’t cause trouble often, and you might feel it is more important to get the good experiences out of the relationship than avoid the drama they stir up from time to time. Not everybody wants a “frenemy” or a “pet rattlesnake”, however, and prefer to cut such people out of their lives.
How to Disconnect from Someone Who Hurt You
If you can say, “I love him, but he is like poison to me”, and you decide you don’t want that, it may be time to let him go. When letting someone you love go is the best way of how to eliminate negativity from your life, don’t let anybody make you feel guilty about it. There may be love for them in your spacious heart forever but having somebody in your life who is destructive to your physical or emotional wellbeing isn’t what you want in your world.
Once you decide to cut somebody out of your life, you may not know just how to do that. While there are plenty of ways to break things off, the first step, no matter how you decide to do so, is simply to decide it’s over for good. It is your right to make this decision, and once you have decided this is the best course of action to take, there are some suggestions here for how to cut off a relationship: Cutting the Cords; How to Cut Someone Out of Your Life | Mysticsense
Feeling Pity for Someone
Feeling pity for somebody who is toxic to you should not be a reason to forgive or remain in a relationship with them. The one who should be sorry is them for what they have done, and if they try to dodge responsibility, make excuses for their behavior, or push the blame onto you, all you have to do is remember who did what hurt you- them. It is fair that we all go through tough times and are sometimes not our best selves as a result. Some people have had difficult lives or are in situations that are very hard to get through. However, if your friend is going through difficulties financially, stealing money from you that they know you cannot afford to part with is still not alright. If your girlfriend was a battered child growing up, it’s still not okay for her to hit you if she gets upset about something.
We all deserve understanding and even pity sometimes, but no amount of suffering justifies hurting people in general, much less the people who are close to us. We can always lean on the people who we love for support, and even contact them to vent about our feelings or ask for guidance. However, we should never project our frustrations onto them or hurt them simply because we are hurting.
When Loving Too Much Hurts
Is it wrong to love someone who continually hurts you, disregards your boundaries, or takes advantage of you? It is never wrong to love somebody! If you really love a woman or a man, when the relationship isn’t toxic, working through problems can just be called “love in difficult times.” There are no perfect people, and each of us takes turns being the ones who make mistakes and are not always fun or easy to be involved with. There really isn’t such a thing as loving somebody “too much” although when you love somebody who is victimizing you, it might feel like you love too much and that you are being loved too little.
When these times arise, sit your loved one down, and have a talk. If it’s just a tough time your relationship is going through, pointing out how you are hurting can help guide them away from the difficulties, and bring the focus to the relationship itself. There are times in life when you have nothing left except for the people who you love, and those people can see you through the worst of times!
Shut Out Self Defeating Thoughts
Each relationship is different, and each situation that hurts is different as well. However, one thing is certain in all situations. Being hurt is not your fault. You did not deserve it, no matter what. Some people insist that it is the choice people make to be hurt or upset in response to what somebody said or did, and that ignores the responsibility of the person who committed the act to begin with. You can decide what actions that you react with, but you are not “too sensitive” if something hurts you that somebody states would not hurt them.
When somebody knows you well, they are going to know in advance if something they are about to do is going to hurt you. They are the ones who choose whether they are okay with risking hurting you or not. Don’t let people make you feel guilty for being hurt, or for your sensitivity levels. Don’t let anybody make you feel guilty if you are not ready to forgive, or if you have forgiven, but are not ready to reconcile. It is you who is healing from being hurt, and you have the right to heal in your own way and on your own timeframe.
What if There is No Closure?
“ I need closure, but they won’t give it to me!” Maybe you have daydreamed about having your say and whoever hurt you begging forgiveness and behaving truly contrite. Maybe you feel like if you say certain things to them, they will see the err of their ways, change, and be the perfect friend, lover, or family member you want them to be. Maybe you have told yourself that you need validation from them, but they insist they did no wrong and flat out won’t apologize no matter what. What do you do to heal when closure never happens? How can we move on from things that happened when the people who hurt us don’t provide the emotional support we feel we deserve? Is it true that you can’t love anybody until you forgive?
First, accept when they are not sorry and accept it if you can tell they never will be. Accepting not to expect any better from them might be all you need to start your own process of closure. Accept that what happened is in the past, and if you can- make certain they can never, ever do this to you again. If they have the opportunity to hurt you again, accept that it is not on any way your fault and you do not deserve it. Accept that there are some people, including the person who hurt you and who isn’t sorry who just don’t care how they make other people feel sometimes. Finally accept that is a horrible way to be, and they have serious problems to work through to better themselves.
As to getting the validation or emotional support from people who refuse to be sorry or give closure, just accept that you are not going to get that from them either. There may have been a time in your relationship when you believed they would have done anything for you. Instead, they did something hurtful TO you, and accepting that they are different now can help. It is entirely true that you deserve their love and support, but for some reason they are not granting it, and that can be even more hurtful than what they did in the first place. The worst thing can be losing the love you shared with them and listening to other people tell you that you are unfit for relationships if you withhold forgiveness.
Be assured that love finds its way to you even if your heart is too hurt to move past what happened. Sometimes things devastate us and change our lives so dramatically, we are left dealing with bad situations somebody else created for us, and we just can’t say “I am at peace with what happened, and I am not angry or upset anymore.” Even if you are not at that point, it doesn’t mean you choose to be bitter or hold onto things. You can walk away from a situation that traumatized you, putting it out of your mind, and unintentionally have flashbacks you don’t want. It does not make you wrong. It means you were hurt. How do you decide when to forgive when you have been hurt?
When to Forgive?
There is one time to forgive, and one time only. That is when you want to. Should people be held accountable for things they have done? “My friend stole from me and won’t pay me back.” or “ My best friend stole my girlfriend and they expect me to come to their wedding to show I have forgiven them.” What do you do when there has been no apology and a refusal to love up to what has been done as well as refusal to take responsibility for what they caused to happen? They say if you “really love” them, you will forget all about it and hold them blameless…but you don’t want to. Do you have to?
No, you don’t. People who stole things from you should have to give back what they took. In the situation of a friend stealing a lover, your lover was a cheat, and it’s no loss if you think about it. If they had not cheated with your friend, they would have cheated with somebody else, and no, you don’t have to watch your cheating ex and your cheating friend who will likely cheat on each other tie the knot, and you don’t have to tell them they did no wrong.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, which some modern people say defined their definition of forgiveness, people had to answer for transgressions against their neighbors before they could put the crime behind them. Stoning to death was called for in events of adultery, fornication, heresy, and worship of other gods or goddesses. In the New Testament, Jesus implored forgiveness. He in no way said people should not take accountability, but he did say in regards to whether he thought a woman should be stoned to death “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
There is a major difference in “casting stones”, or otherwise condemning somebody forever, and refusing to allow somebody to get off with no consequences at all, most especially if they are not sorry. If somebody has taken from you and refused to return what they took, if they broke your heart and simply didn’t care, if they used you, if they did or said anything that caused serious harm and lasting consequences you have dealt with for a long time, it is not your responsibility, no matter how long ago it was, to tell them it’s okay. Your responsibility is to yourself and yourself only, doing whatever it takes to heal.
Things to Ask
There are some things you can ask yourself to decide whether to forgive or not. If you are undecided after a few minutes, you can meditate, pray, or journal about these questions until you have the answers.
1) Are they truly sorry?
2) Does it matter to me that they are sorry?
3) Will it happen again?
4) Am I comfortable with them or is the trust gone?
5) Is forgiving what is best for me?
Nobody can decide but you if forgiving somebody is the right thing to do. The focus when you have been hurt should not be on what you owe to the person who hurt you or feeling guilty about being hurt but whatever it takes to make it your time to bloom emotionally.
Time to Blossom!
That’s right. This is about what makes you thrive, not the people who have hurt you. YOU are the one whose feelings count as you are the one who was hurt. Are you still processing what has happened? If so, there is no deadline of when you have to stop feeling hurt. No god is going to punish you if you don’t forgive quickly. You won’t be withheld forgiveness when you are sorry if you are not ready to forgive people who aren’t sorry. When people are continuing to hurt you, you don’t owe it to them to reconcile with them and let them back into your life, no matter what. It’s your heart, your personal healing, and your right to decide whether to forgive and even if you do forgive, it’s up to you whether to reconcile or not.
In some ways, time allows you the space and opportunity to process what has hurt you, and emotionally move past it. When you realize the event is behind you, most especially if something similar can never, ever happen again, you may begin emotionally to heal. So in that way, time can help to heal a broken heart. Sometimes, the hurt was so bad, no amount of time passing can make the hurt better, and you have to find ways to heal yourself. Many swear by therapeutic counseling, religious practice, or reaching out to help other people who have endured similar abuses for support. Do whatever it takes to heal, and if forgiving the person who hurt you doesn’t help, don’t worry about that. This is about you healing, and you owe absolutely nothing to whoever hurt you.
This is your life, and only you can decide who and what you want to include in it. It is true that we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness sometimes. It is also true that forgiving does not mean you have to allow somebody a place in your life again. If you decide to move forward from the hurt with them in your life, reconciling after all, they are very lucky indeed. May your love be strong, and your sorrows be few in your relationships. May you never lose anybody you love, and may you never get bitten by any “pet rattlesnakes.”
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