If there's ever a harder struggle for someone who has to make an active choice to forgive someone so they can move on with their life, I don't know what it is. It is a choice to let what happened to you, to no longer define your life. To choose to move on is an act of courage. It is having the temerity to change the narrative, to let what happened help define the future you choose to make. Letting go of hurt, your pain, is a choice. You have to feel it first, go through the storm of grief, anger, bitterness, and letting those waves hit you over and over. Those feelings do come and go like waves so this is a pretty apt metaphor. Even when you forgive, you will still feel those pangs, those little storms. Don't let those storms overwhelm you, because you will give in to the temptation to give up. To become angry or sad all over again.
Forgiveness, I don't know her yet. I'm testing the waters, trying to see how far I can make it today with my own storm. How far I will make it before I let the water overcome me. Forgiveness, I'm still not quite there, but closer than I was only one and a half years ago. Angry still, yes, but sad no longer. I can see the bigger picture. I wasn't meant to stay the person I was then. I had some personal growth to accomplish. I don't understand all the reasons why my storm had to come right now, at this time, but we all know timing is everything. If not now, then when? There is never a good time to struggle, but the struggle comes anyway. It is, in fact, why it is a struggle. To endure beyond what we think we can bear is the ultimate test. In our struggle, when it comes at the hands of another, is where we truly find our capacity to forgive. To embrace what is next is to allow for some hope. To allow the belief that something greater than what we dared to dream before is around the corner.
I choose to believe that for myself, and if you're struggling today too, choose to believe that for yourself as well. My heart is a many splintered thing (that was too cute to let pass me by, lol), which will be made whole again with the passage of time and a whole lot of forgiveness to get to. I honestly didn't see myself making it this far, but that's what hope is good for. Even when too many bad todays have passed us by, the knowledge that tomorrow can be better is how we get through all those bad days. In every day, when we've had too many horrible moments that have gone on for far too long, there is always one moment you can see hope in. The flowers blooming in your garden, a butterfly, the sound of the wind or the rain perhaps. Whatever it is that gives you comfort, look for the hope there. In all things let there be a moment you grab hold of as your reminder that there will be a better tomorrow.
Forgive who you need to, but allow yourself to feel all the feels first, because you won't get to forgiveness without feeling all of that messy stuff. Mend your heart, leave it open for your future, and extend some grace to the person or the situation that caused you the pain. If it was a person who hurt you, consider they may be broken too and a work in progress as well. Broken people hurt people, intentionally or unintentionally. They just do. Life will work on them as surely as it's working on us.