Divorce, break ups and frenemies are much more prominent nowadays. A quarter of the children in the UK are being raised by a lone parent, as per the Office of Statistics and Lady Leshurr tells us that some girls change their friends more than their panties! It is a little sad that so many couples and old friends could not make it out of the darkness and stay together, or at least stay amicable to keep the peace.
Friends particularly fall out much easier and individuals will refer to their friends ‘mugging them off’, or ‘talking BS’ about them to someone else. On social media, you see people unfriending lots of people at once to have a ‘clear out’ and others comment comically saying they ‘hope they make the cut’. This can also extend to family members… ‘were only family by blood’…this one can cause a whole new set of problems for the people involved.
But how did society end up this way? When did we start throwing people out like yesterday’s trash without a second thought? Granted, sometimes we don’t have a choice and we need to protect ourselves from toxic people. Surely there is still room for forgiveness in our lives though? Forgiveness is now seen as a weakness when it is in fact a great strength. When someone wrongs us we naturally feel hurt and betrayed and we share these feelings with those who love us. Those who love us want to protect us and they may exhibit angry opinions at our circumstances and to the person who hurt us. They may even go as far as to tell you what action to take or to cut the person off completely. This is where lines start to get blurred. Instead of leading with our own heart and head we lead with someone else’s.
To forgive someone, you should first want to forgive them. Is their mistake bigger than the relationship you have with them? Is one mistake in 5, 10 or 15 years’ worth throwing everything away? Ultimately it comes down to trust. In the immediate aftermath of the situation when emotions are raging, it is likely you will feel that you will never trust that person again. Trust can be rebuilt though and it takes an enormous effort on both sides. If the betrayer has no remorse or isn’t showing signs of trying to make it right, then you should cut them off. If they are, or you know that they have deep rooted issues, or are going through turmoil at the time the incident happened, you should not be hasty in your decision.
The bottom line is…GOOD PEOPLE DO BAD THINGS. Forgiveness is not a weakness, it is empowering. Being able to forgive means you have empathy, compassion and most importantly, a sense of humanity. Imagine it was you who did what that person did. How would you feel? Would you want one last chance to make things right? Would you wish for just one person to understand? We are all human and we all mess up, sometimes big and sometimes small. Losing someone you love because of a mistake you made can cause years of guilt and self-loathing. Do they deserve that? You can forgive and protect yourself from future betrayal at the same time. As the saying goes, ‘fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’. You can forgive someone twice but it may mean a relationship overhaul to protect your mental wellbeing.
A beautiful side effect of forgiveness is a deeper love for your partner, friend or family. A good person who has done a bad thing will forever hold you dear to their heart because you found forgiveness for them in yours. Don’t let feelings like hate, anger and resentment rule you or you will never have the capacity to forgive again.