Forgive For Yourself

Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Lauren is a senior at John Carroll University. Studying mental health psychology, she is pursuing a graduate degree in counseling after graduation. Firm believer that coffee keeps the world turning.

By the time you get to college, you have no doubt had an instance or two in which you were let down by someone. It could be a friend, significant other or even a parent. Sometimes it can be difficult to deal with the disappointment and instead of moving on, you sometimes simply cut the person out. Some see this as a defense mechanism. Rather than accepting you’ve been hurt it becomes easier to act as if it did not happen and to not continue the relationship for fear of getting hurt.

I want to share something that I learned quite recently. Sometimes forgiveness isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it is, sometimes what is necessary. The act of forgiving is not for the benefit of those who have wronged or hurt you or for anyone else. The act of forgiving is for you. Think about it, when you are upset with someone who has disappointed you, does it look like they are allowing it to ruin their day or week or their weekend? Chances are you answered no to that question and that is because you know that the person who suffers the most from this is you. Therefore, don’t forgive for those that hurt you, forgive for yourself.

Too often in life we struggle to move on and rather than dealing with bad feelings or negative people we have in our lives, we simply push them to the back of our minds. Too often we tend to view forgiving as a sign of weakness because we are letting the person off the hook. Forgiving is not a sign of weakness nor is it giving the person the easy way out, rather it is accepting what has happened and moving on. When we push these thoughts and people to the back of our minds, they are still back there waiting for a moment to come in and mess up our day, by keeping them there, we allow those negative thoughts or negative people to come back without a moments notice. By keeping these people in our minds and carrying around these thoughts and feelings we are only dragging ourselves down. So, when we forgive, we may not necessarily forget what that person has done to you, but you are no longer carrying around the negative thoughts and feelings that surrounded what that person has done to you.

College is a journey, you’ve been told time and time again to cherish these times that they will be the best of your life. Each time you were told this, I’m sure it was by a parent or a person in the “real world”. As a senior I can tell you that I wholeheartedly believe that college is the best time of your life. That is not to say that your life ends when you graduate, but rather it begins a new chapter. During college you will meet so many different people and go through so many different phases in your life, you find out who you are, you find out who you want to be surrounded by and most importantly, you will take control of your life. Why let anyone else control what you are thinking or feeling because you do not want to forgive them? Take charge of your life and your mind and make the decisions that make you happy. Forgive for yourself.

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