Everything in life is only as relevant as you allow it to be. And as cliche as this may sound, getting closure, allowing forgiveness, has very little to do with the other person, but everything to do with yourself.
A couple years ago, I fell in “like” with someone I could never actually be with. It sounds crazy—yes, I know—but we lived on opposite sides of the country. I was in school (or recently graduated), and he had a situation. I’m Nigerian, and he was from one of those states where they find it difficult to enunciate the difference between their “w”s and their “r”s. My life was taking me left, his life was taking him right, and there was literally no conceivable way that we would have ever worked out, yet we trekked on… Inevitably, it all imploded.
Days later, I found myself in a swimming pool of anger, disgust, and resentment. I was mad—mad that we ever met, mad that we ever became friends, mad that I had wasted so much time on a fruitless situation, and so much more… As the weeks went on, the anger did not subside.
I’m not a malicious person, so why was I mad still? I had forgiven him, but hadn’t forgiven myself. And it took me a long time to come to grip with that.
I had contrition for him having served me up like a burnt offering when it all fell apart. I had forgiven him for not taking ownership of his mistakes, for allowing me be victimized…., but I hadn’t forgiven myself. Rather, I blamed myself (fully), and refused to allow myself see that holding onto that sentiment was blocking me from achieving so much better. I had to allow my feelings and attitude to change regarding how the dissolution impacted me. I had to give myself the opportunity, the second (or third) chance to move forward and let go of the negative emotions.
There is an art to forgiveness, and it starts with you:
- understanding that forgiving the person who hurt you doesn’t mean that you’re okay with what they did, but simply that you value your personal peace much more.
- making a commitment to yourself, and taking actual steps towards making sure your future actions reflect a better (more learned) version of you.
- managing your stress. Taking and making time for yourself, your heart, your body and your mind.
- living your life. Taking it one day at a time, and moving forward, always.
You have to forgive yourself for allowing whatever the situation was to occur. Take ownership of what transgressed, make amends with yourself & your heart; then allow yourself the latitude and the grace to move on.