We’ve all been there. That friend that tells your deepest secret. The man or woman that does the very one thing that only they knew would crush you. The colleague that took credit for your work. That evil woman who stole your man, or vice versa.
I went to dinner last night with a friend I’ve known for years who commented on my recent breakup: “Jen, you’ve always been too forgiving.” I’ve heard it so many times because I do try so hard to see the best in people and I can overcome so much for someone I love, ashamedly so. But we all have our breaking points – even me.
I’m grateful for that part of me that hangs on just a little bit longer, that sees the best in someone long after everyone else has given up. Yes, it has really come back to haunt me, hard. But not always. People surprise you sometimes.
It’s so easy to hang onto anger. It’s so easy to hate someone who hurt you, even if you hardly know them. It’s harder to forgive and move on. But it mostly benefits you if you can find that spot in your heart. Holding onto anger never made anyone beautiful or likeable.
I know, you think “Not everyone deserves to be forgiven!” I’m sure there are people out there who think that of me. I’m not perfect <pause for your shocked response> and I had my time in my early 20’s where I made mistake after mistake. But I forgave myself and realized, Hey I’m not that person anymore. And I had to learn to let go and accept the things I cannot change. And I’ve learned to see the best in others, even when it’s hard to find.
I say this because I received a disturbing call from someone I’ve never met regarding a situation that had nothing to do with me, and had no reason to be brought to my attention. I felt this caller’s pain, I truly did. I’ve been on both sides of the issue at some time in my life, I’m sure. But I couldn’t help but think, I will not be the first to cast the stone, or second, third, and so on.
I know that when someone hurts you it’s hard to forgive. I am currently struggling myself to forgive the one who hurt me recently. But I know some day I will, and I will be a better person for it.