How much forgiveness is too much?
Hello Wild Ones 💛💛💛💛
I hope you are well and doing great. I hope that you are taking care of yourself. You are amazing and awesome. I am currently full of hope and grace. 🌻🌻
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Lately I have been having the worst flashbacks of really bad things that happened in a relationship that I was in. I hate talking about it because the first reaction I get from people and myself is to victim shame me. I was in a emotionally abusive relationship and the first thing people say once I say this is “But you are a very strong-willed woman, how did this happen?” But I digress. Back to these things. I recently remembered this one time I said that my favorite body part is my lips and someone’s son looked straight up at me and said ” But babe your lips are small.” (Can you believe the audacity and gumption) These scenes have been creeping up on me recently and I remembered a question I once asked my therapist.
At what point is forgiveness too much?
Growing up, I watched some of my loved ones get really emotionally abused while not doing much to leave that situation. I remember asking them “How can they claim to love you and do horrible things like that?” The response was always “They are family.” When the abuse came to me, I always knew to console myself with the fact they are family. This would then trickle down to my relationships and it was always the same thing ” How can someone love me and still do all these fucked up things to me?” In my brain, I knew if family loved me and still did fucked up things then it was the same with these shitty men who couldn’t even be bothered to give me the bare minimum. So I was stuck in situations I had no business being in because I never knew when ‘forgiveness’ becomes too much. Heck, I couldn’t even define forgiveness.
I asked my therapist the question via a zoom therapy session. She signed then paused for a while before saying in her calm co-regulating voice, ” If you are asking that question then it’s probably too much.” It was the first time someone had validated the fact that I was justified to be mad that someone I loved could have loved me and still known nothing about how to love me and hurt me in the process.
I think there is no such thing as too much forgiveness. I had to learn that just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you have to be in each other’s lives. Forgiveness is not about forgetting the pain afflicted on you. It is about taking your power back. I had to learn to forgive because the one person I needed to forgive the most was myself. There was a time that I felt that I had really failed myself in very many ways especially after leaving my abusive relationship and constantly having flashbacks of all the red flags I chose to ignore.
I am a firm believer that the type of relationship that you have with yourself determines a lot how you treat others. I am no preacher but there’s a reason God said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Learning to have grace and forgiveness for yourself will help. It was only after always treating myself gently every time that I fail myself was able for the first time to have compassion for one of my relatives by recognizing that they are likely to have gone through so much trauma and that is why they behaved the way they did. They were just spreading their hurt. It didn’t excuse their shitty behavior. I saw her as a victim too and that allowed me to have grace and let go of my anger. Hurt people hurt people.
I believe that just like healing, forgiveness is a journey that is personal. It is hills of release and valleys of despise but it gets better and eventually, compassion will prevail. A different story will be told. A story of survival and growth. I hope you find the light.
Do you believe that there’s too much forgiveness?
With Loooooove and Sunshine 💖🌞💖🌞, Jackie