Second Chances - The Art of Forgiveness
By Elizabeth Barrera
Forgiving is difficult when you’ve been done wrong and you did nothing to deserve it. Forgiving means that you choose to be the bigger person and free yourself from any grudges.
Forgiving also means that you will not continuously bring up the past to the person who did you wrong. It means that you’re ready to move on with them – or without them.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you need to keep them around. It can mean that you’re grown enough to free them from their mistakes, but you’re also strong enough to learn to let go.
If you choose to honestly forgive someone and also decide to keep them in your life, then be ready for thunderstorms and unsteady grounds. Be prepared to watch them break down, attempting to make you happy. But don’t just sit around and watch the storm pass or let them break down. If your decision to forgive and keep them in your life is sincere, then you need to be ready to also put in some effort. Remember, they’re the ones who made the mistake, so they can only do so much.
So my question is: Are you ready to open the door for them?
If you aren’t, that’s okay. If you are, that’s okay too. Just remember, forgiving someone for what they did to you does not require you to keep them in your life. It’s your choice whether you want to keep them or not. If you do decide to keep your door open for them, be prepared to put in some work. Be ready to open your heart and begin to build that trust once again.
Second chances are difficult to give away, especially when your trust has been broken. Time heals all wounds, and sometimes, space does too. When you choose to forgive and give a second chance, you also choose to talk about the things you both need to work on. You communicate the things that are and aren’t working, you set expectations, and you begin to build together. If you don’t do any of this, then what’s the point of giving a second chance?
Learn to say that you’re not happy and terminate the situation, if necessary. Learn to express your concerns and desires.
Learn to communicate.
Don’t point fingers, don’t bring back the past, and don’t make subtle comments as they’re walking out the door. That only demonstrates that you’re not willing or ready to move on. You can’t provide a second chance without openly communicating and listening.
So make your decision.
Can you forgive them and keep them in your life?
Will you have to forgive them, but remove them altogether?
It’s your choice to make, but don’t create hope if your forgiveness isn’t sincere.