I had a phone call from a friend last night. Said friend had a very difficult time last year, the end of a toxic relationship being the catalyst. The end of his toxic relationship led him to leave his job, his writing and his London home as well as conjuring up lots of other issues that had gone un addressed. It wouldnt be exagerated to say he experienceed a personal life crisis.
He did really well in dealing with the situation although he didn’t see it at the time. He removed himself from the environment and came to live and work with me for a couple of months in Devon and tried to gain perspective over what was happening in his life
It took time but he managed to recover, he got a new job which he loves, put his house up for sale and built bridges with lost friends. Happily back in London he was doing ok.
After going to an old work event he came, unexpectedly, face to face with the ex and her surprise new relationship with someone he knew. He immediately left the event that he and been looking forward to for a long time. This sent him spiralling mentally down to where he had been last year shining a light on the fact that maybe he wasn’t as ‘over’ the situation as he had hoped.
At a very low ebb he decided there was only one thing for it. He sent the ex a message declaring how happy he was for her that she had moved on and his absence from the situation was not a malicious or resentful act but simply to make it easier and more comfortable for everyone. Once the message was sent he felt an over whelming feeling of relief. More so than he had all those months ago. He realised this was how it felt to be ‘over’ it.
When you forgive someone you take back the power over your emotions. You let go of the ever tortured victim role and free yourself of any feelings of resentment and jealousy.
My friend was so relieved he was annoyed he hadn’t done it earlier. But as much as forgiveness is an incredibly strong and liberal thing to be able to do it can not be forced or dished out like over the counter pills. It is something that comes in time when you’re ready to let go of ego or judgement and separate yourself from the person that caused you pain. To see that other people are the way they are because of their situation not yours. Genuine forgiveness happens when you realise that person DOES NOT have emotional power over you if you don’t give it to them. The victim role maybe a very comfortable, self righteous place to be but it endures suffering and hostility. But it’s a place for emotional weakness and stagnation. Don’t stay there.