We all have been betrayed by those we loved and trusted the most. That kind of experience can leave a wound in our hearts and minds and haunt us for months, even years. We might never be able to trust again as we used to, and we might become reluctant to open up to other people and experiences.
Everyone that tries to come close to us, we might wrongly interpret as someone that might hurt us again. You don’t want that suppressed, unhealed wound to open again, right?
You buried it deep in your heart, and you never want to feel it again. You want it gone, but you don’t know what you should do because it’s too painful. So you run away from people, or you hurt them before they have the chance to hurt you first.
Until one day, you get tired of that buried wound still being alive in your heart and controlling your life experiences. One day, you decide you want to be free and happy. You decide you want to forgive those who hurt you and forgive yourself for letting them.
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“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” — Lewis B. Smedes
But why would anyone want to forgive those that wronged us? Because it is essential in setting yourself free from the pain and living a happy life. Forgiveness means making a conscious decision to let go of any grudge. It makes you move forward in life with greater potential and inner freedom. It is one of those positive feelings that keep us connected to our deepest selves, to humanity and life in general.
Showing an understanding of the other person
Whatever happened, nothing is worthy of you being miserable because of somebody’s else mistakes. Besides, you don’t know the reasons behind their behavior. Maybe they also experienced some hurt in the past, and they learned to cope with it by mistreating other people. Whatever was the case, showing empathy to the abuser can be a stepping stone in letting go of a painful experience.
It means you understand that they might be suffering themselves and are unaware of how to work through the pain. In those cases, you can only feel compassion for such a person instead of judgment or resentment. It will open up your heart to humanity and its weaknesses and will give you strength in dealing with any future obstacles. However, showing forgiveness and compassion never means that you should continue to stick around for another maltreatment.
Taking responsibility for yourself
Taking responsibility for the role you played in that experience is also important for letting go and moving on with your life. Having that mentality that you were only a victim in that situation can only lengthen the process of healing. Remember that life gives us nudges when something is wrong in some particular relationship or situation, and you always have a choice to accept the situation, speak up to the issue, or simply leave.
Bad experiences are a great opportunity for growth
Yes, life might continue to throw us into situations where we might be potentially betrayed. Through those experiences, life is teaching us lessons that nobody is perfect in life and that we should love people just as they are. Even we ourselves can hurt somebody with our actions because we are simply not perfect.
We have our weakness, and we wouldn’t like to be judged because of them. Not everybody has the strength to change themselves and their behavior. Whatever bad circumstances you have been through, you can see it as an opportunity to learn about life and humanity, and if you really choose so, those experiences can only make you grow into a beautiful, strong, and compassionate human being everyone aspires to be.