Forgiveness is healing. It is a balm for both the injured and those who caused the injury. When we wrong, injure or betray someone whether it is physical, or most often, emotional, we cannot simply ask for forgiveness.
Ironically, and most importantly, the injured must first forgive themselves for the blame and guilt they often unconsciously feel before finally forgiving the person responsible for the wrong.
Most times, people fail to do so, and the harm from the injury never truly heals.
What people often misunderstand is that to require forgiveness, the injury is often deeply-rooted. It is one that usually has residual effects. Injured people assume a burden – one that can even affect that person’s self-concept and self-esteem. In addition, these residual effects subsequently cause harm to other relationships and thus to those who had nothing to do with the original injury.
We call it baggage.
For example, when people do not forgive themselves after a former adulterous relationship, they may begin to believe they deserved the adulterous treatment, that they were really not truly worthy of the person’s attention in the first place, or that they did something, or failed to do something that caused the treatment regardless of whether it was true or not. Generally, these thoughts or beliefs are unconscious and go unacknowledged so people become destined to replicate the treatment or sabotage future relationships out of fear of its reoccurrence.
Still, when we seek forgiveness for the harm we cause, we must first demonstrate that we deserve forgiveness. Our hearts and minds are the true judge as well as our behavior afterwards. The injured person’s words or declaration doesn’t simply or magically grant absolution.
To truly receive forgiveness requires a change in those who caused harmed, which, in itself, is their own individual act of forgiving themselves for their wrongs.
2017 © Eric Christopher Webb
The WordsByWebb blog distributes a weekly quotation and reflection every Tuesday from National Black Authors Tour bestselling author and multi-talented writer Eric Christopher Webb (E.WEBB?!) to inspire, motivate and encourage personal development of its readers. The blog also regularly shares news, updates, new poetry and excerpts of the writer’s latest work. Webb, a spoken word artist, former Washington News Correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and nationally-syndicated Soul Searching columnist, has also been featured in movies, music videos, commercials and literary documentaries on HBO, BET Weekend’s Evening of Spoken Word, BET’s Rap City, Video Jukebox, The Party Machine, The Learning Channel, Voice of America and XM Radio. He is the author of five books, including "The Garvey Protocol: Inspired By True Events," a 2013 Phillis Wheatley Book Award Finalist for First Fiction and the National Black Authors Tour bestseller, "Love Letters, Death Threats & Suicide Notes." He has also contributed to numerous anthologies, journals and magazines.
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