Forgiveness Is Freedom
Do you remember when you kept malice with someone and felt justified because they wronged you? How did you feel when you saw them? Heavy? Hurt? Did your heart beat faster than usual? Did you feel like a prisoner within?
If you are a true malice keeper, I suppose your answer is yes! I used to be a very bitter person when I was much younger. Although, surprisingly, I didn’t turn out to be violent, thank God.
As a young person, I thought I had endured too much for my age. I hated my dad for abandoning us. Initially, when he left, I used to hope he’d come back but that hope turned to hopelessness and hatred so much so that I used to wish that he died because I felt my mum would get help if she were a widow.
I was angry at those who molested me. I was angry at those who took advantage of me because of my low self-esteem. It got worse when I got into high school. The low key bullying, name-calling, and side talks because most people concluded that I was just that weird kid who mostly liked to be alone. Despite that, there were still those who were nice and often reached out.
There was this one time when someone told my friend not to be close to me otherwise she’d start acting like a “mumu” (Nigerian language for a fool). They called me that because I was too fragile and slow even though I was intelligent. This friend of mine came and told me (very innocently) that she would no longer be friends with me because she didn’t want to become a fool like me.
I cried my eyes out that day. I kept wondering if things would have been different if my dad had not left. So in a bid to belong, I created an alter-ego. She was super friendly and talented but she was also a thief and a liar and with each passing day, the hatred for my dad and men generally, became stronger and stronger.
That aside, there was my matron. That woman was terror. I never liked her— I don’t think anyone truly did. I strongly believe that anyone who was close to her did so only for eyeservice. Because of how frightened everyone was of her, students greeted her as though she came from hell. Her entire existence was pretty terrifying.
The thought of her made me dread going back to school— made me dread seeing her eye to eye. She probably felt she was training us but in reality, as far as I am concerned, she was just a big bully. She was nicer to those whose parents had money otherwise one was just a commoner, a beating or a thunderous shout at the slightest mistake was given to anyone who wasn’t so close to her. That’s a story for another day.
Anyway, I somehow came to the realization that forgiveness was important after I hit rock bottom when the liar and the thief in me was caught, ridiculed and beaten. (You can read about that here). I felt terrible, hurt and ashamed. I hated myself. But not long after, I realized I had to let go. I needed to stop hating all together.
There was so much animosity within that made me contemplate suicide several times. These were things I hadn’t dealt with. I knew I had to change the way I saw things. I needed to realize that everyone and anyone can make mistakes because no one is perfect. But it doesn’t matter if they feel sorry or not— what truly matters is you and your peace of mind. You see, forgiveness isn’t for the other person– it is for you.
When you are not forgiving, you are hating. Your mind is so occupied and you become so burdened that it saps up your energy. The other person may not even be aware or care. You have to let it go. Choose to forgive those who have hurt you in whatever way. Forgiveness is for you!
Free yourself from this burden. It doesn’t matter if they deserve it or not. If you truly want to be sincere, you know deep within that you have done some dumb things that when you think about, you wonder how and why you’re still alive. But you are and you’re here so why shouldn’t someone else have that privilege?
You think they hurt you so bad that they can’t be forgiven? Who are you to think you’re the only one that has the right to hurt? They may be hurting too and just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean they are not. And even if they aren’t, do it for you.
And for those who won’t forgive themselves for the things or people that they lost as a result of the mistakes they made, let me tell you: those can’t change. You can’t undo the past but you can learn from it. Being stuck in your regrets won’t change anything. If at all, you’ll keep sinking into depression until you self destruct. It’s not too late to let go or start over. Forgive yourself too. Forgive those that hurt you. Find peace in Christ— peace for your mind and soul. Find freedom. Forgiveness is freedom.
Share your experiences. Drop your thoughts.
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