• Hannah Guy, LCSW

Forgiveness Does Not Require Reconnection

This one is hard for me. I am the type of person to hold grudges. I never forget and I rarely let go.

When I first saw the statement forgiveness does not require reconnection it definitely resonated with me for a multitude of reasons.

You see, it reminds me of the saying "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." How true this is for a lot of us. Holding onto grudges can overcome us and seep into every aspect of our lives without us even recognizing it. At first your anger seems rightous and provides you with energy. After a while, it starts to become energy depleting. You are exhausted, hurt, get the picture.

So why do we do this in the first place? Why is it easier to hold onto a grudge and not forgive someone who hurt us when in fact it hurts us more in the long run? There are many reasons for this, however I believe one reason why this happens is that we aren't paying attention to how our grudge is hurting us, not the person who hurt us. We get caught up in the righteous anger, the feeling of being disrespected, and the injustice of it all.

The first thing is to pay attention and give awareness to how much energy you are expending on being angry. Notice the ways it's impacting your day-to-day life. How it's affecting your marriage or performance at work.

If you notice how this anger is seeping through and starting to impact the things that actually matter, it's time to stop going down that rabbit hole. This requires the ability to let go. Letting go of expectations of others. Letting go of feeling the need to control everything. Even letting go of relationships.

You see, letting go initially feels like you're giving up control. But actually in the end you are gaining more control. You are choosing to not let that person or event no longer dictate you. You are choosing to no longer "drink the poison" and instead invest that energy back into things that bring you joy.

Just because you choose to forgive someone, does not mean they deserve to continue being in your life. You're doing it for your own liberation.

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