On Forgiveness – dealing with the hurts
I recently read a book which was based on the relationship between the author and her mother. It took the wind out of my sails for a bit. The mother, though now deceased, had been an acquaintance of mine. It felt very strange to be reading all those personal details about her.
The daughter was obviously very hurt during her childhood, something I can understand though it was growing up without my mother that caused my own hurt. Somehow I forgave her when I was around ten years old even though she’d run off with another man and left Dad to look after three young children. I don’t remember what my reasoning was; I just know I did forgive her. We met her again later in life and we were reconciled; eventually she made her peace with God.
Through my experience of reading the book I came to realise that there are always different perspectives on people, though my friend was no angel she was pretty much respected in our community. Somehow I felt that I was an intruder into her life by reading about her personal relationships.
I have been hurt by others besides my mother, I’m sure we all have through one means or another. How do we deal with that hurt? One thing that book taught me was that healing won’t come through the hurtful retaliation of exposure. I was left feeling very sorry for the author and sad for her too, but equally sorry for her mother.
I once had occasion to tell a young couple some very personal information about another young friend. I was not being in any way vindictive, but there was a danger they were exposing themselves to and I felt I had to warn them. I’m sure they are glad now that I did.
At the time their response was; ‘I didn’t want to know that about …‘
So, I think basically people don’t want to know the details of how we have been hurt and by whom, and what we think of them. They have a different perspective of that person, or persons. We need to respect that.
Dealing with our hurt through exposure will only bring more hurt back on ourselves, if that exposure is meant as retribution. Catharsis is better achieved through pouring our hearts out to someone we can trust to keep it private: a counsellor, a close friend, a pastor or chaplain and in my case first and foremost to God.
Of course there are very sound ways of dealing with people who are hurting you. Confrontation included. What I’m dealing with here is coping with hurt that comes through a form of betrayal, when confrontation has not worked and the perpetrator/s reject the approach with derision. Wow, that hurts even more!
The pain is debilitating and one is left feeling desolate. Wounds appear and grow, confidence is eroded, and helplessness takes hold. It can take time to work through all this, it has for me.
My heart goes out to those who hurt!
As a Christian I have an anchor. At times I found I was in a desperate situation with enemies all around me, I called on my Lord and he came in power to help me. God saved me in many ways and kept me under his protection. No matter what others were thinking, I was safe in God and trusting in him all the time.
He brought me through to the place of forgiveness. Now, we may think that forgiveness is for the other person, and in a way it is because you let them go completely. But forgiveness is for you. They no longer have power over you to hurt you, in effect they no longer matter in the same way your life. The most beautiful thing is the power of the love of God that gives compassion for those who have hurt you. You find you are able to love them according to the will of God. Praying for them to experience the same healing that you have received. Their hurts have been deep also.
The healing can take time, allow yourself that without feeling depressed or guilty about it. Keep seeking the Lord, never let go of the faith He has given you.
God bless, Shirley