The Difference Between Forgiveness + Acceptance
I was triggered last night. Like big time.
Backstory: Several years ago a couple girls were talking about me to another girl, who happens to be a friend of mine. You can probably tell from the title of this post that those two girls weren’t speaking very highly of me. I think their exact words were, “She’s just a gold digger.”
As tough as I can act on the outside that shit hurt. Like deep. It hurt for several different reasons but mostly because I have never acted unfriendly or hostile towards these girls. Hell—I barely knew these girls at this point in time!
Fast Forward: Any and every time I see these girls I let myself get triggered. Then, I immediately get the urge to tell everyone what they said about me. But why? In hopes that others won’t find them appealing anymore? How does this benefit me? SPOILER: IT DOESN'T.
I let those words consume me for 5 years. Five freaking years. I would let those nasty “statements” creep up and the hurt would ignite all over again like it was a fresh wound.
Women don’t bash women, girls do.
So after feeling triggered last night, I went home and did a little bit of soul-searching + contemplation and finally got to the root of all of this. I know those words they spoke about me aren’t true so why am I letting it affect me? Why am I letting their ridiculous assumptions consume my thoughts?
I don’t have to accept their nasty words but I can forgive them. Especially if it removes stress and anxiety out of my life each time I see them.
pin for later!
Learn from me:
Forgiveness does not mean acceptance.
It doesn’t mean that the situation is okay or it was acceptable that someone hurt you. This is where people often get confused. Hell, I didn’t think I would ever be able to let this go.
You forgive someone for you, not the other person(s). You forgive them so you don’t get sick at the sight of their face or have a cloud of resentment hanging over you. Do you honestly think their words or actions are bothering them? No, it’s you who ends up walking around angry or sad. It’s likely that they don’t even know nor have any idea the impact or hurt they have laid upon you.
Now I’m not saying this is an easy task—obviously, I’ve been meddling over this situation for five freaking years. Forgiveness only happens when you have processed out the feelings of hurt.
Acceptance is simply accepting the fact that it happened. We can’t reverse time, we can’t change things that have happened in the past, all we can do is accept that it did happen and see what we can learn from it. It can be hard as hell to learn from negative experiences when you're still processing the hurt but there is always something that comes out of it that you can be grateful for. For instance, it made me realize the type of person I don’t want to be. I don’t want to judge others without knowing their story. Without these experiences, we might suffer less pain and hurt but we also would not have the opportunity to grow and be better people. Personally, I would not have grown and would not have went on my journey of self-discovery and then go on to help others; learning about myself and connecting to my own happiness + fulfillment has been one of the most amazing things I have done in my life.
Another kicker, resolving something in yourself and deciding to forgive someone and let it go doesn’t mean you have to tell that person you forgive them. You do it for you, so you aren’t damaged by holding negativity for long periods of time. Forgiveness is an inner process, something you do deep inside of you and if you choose you can reach out to forgive someone, but don’t ever feel obligated to do so.
Letting go is where you should end up at the end of the forgiveness process. You let go of any attachment to negativity about the event, to resentment about the event and to the event itself. In other words, you can think about it without getting overly emotional or having big reactions. You can think and talk about it like you were telling a story about someone else because you have healed it not because you are detached from it or numb to it.
As long as there are no hard feelings in the end, that’s what matters for you.
Are you struggling to forgive someone who has wronged you? Get to the root of it, learn from it and heal from it. I would love to hear your best methods to forgiving! Leave a comment or shoot me a message!