Forgiveness: Difficult, But Necessary

By Alexis Janel (Guest Writer)

No one is immune to being wronged. In fact, if you just keep living, you will find that some of the people you least expect will end up hurting you. With this new year of 2019 upon us, don’t expect for all friendships and relationships of last year and years prior to go forward with you. As you grow as an individual and professional, you will be mistreated, gossiped about, and discounted. However, it’s important to forgive anyway. In my 22, almost 23 years of living, I am still trying to work on the area of forgiveness. People will try you, and believe me, I’ve been tried many times before.

You as a reader may be saying, “You don’t know my petty family.” Or “You don’t know my careless friends.” Or even “You don’t know my manipulative co-worker. Forgive!?!?”

Jada Pinkett Smith, who I truly adore, has been running her popular Red Table Talk series that I’ve been following for months. It’s very humbling to see Jada, her mother, and daughter, Willow Smith, have this platform that continues to weigh in on heavy subject matters that a lot of individuals struggle with. One episode that completely stunned me was entitled, “Learning to Forgive.” This is where it gets real. Jada sits down with her younger brother, Caleeb Pinkett, to discuss the reality of having to forgive their father for choosing a life of drugs over his kids. Although their father is now deceased, you can still see clear as day that his absence throughout their lives affected them tremendously. The clip below on forgiveness is so powerful that it has resonated with me since I watched it.

After watching that, you probably started thinking about your own life and a situation you have been dwelling on for far too long. Let it go. As long as you allow a circumstance to fester inside of you, it will control you. Usually, the person that has offended you has gone on about his or her life, while you are still consumed with the offense done towards you. In a recent Facebook post I wrote, “If people are meant to be in my life, God will align our paths again.”

I know everyone reading may not be spiritual or religious, but there is a lesson for all of us to learn. You cannot always control how people may feel about you or things they have done, but you can control how you respond and move forward. If someone wants to apologize, they will. If they don’t want to apologize, they won’t. Channel your energy towards the relationships and friendships that add value to your life, not stifle it. Or that business you’ve been fixated on launching, instead of envying someone else’s. Or something as basic as getting back to you and loving you MORE by eating healthier food, applying for school, treating yourself to a new adventure locally or internationally, and participating in more positive conversations that feed your soul.

The next time you want to harbor in your heart past or present offenses, say: “I choose to live in peace, even when life and some people in life are not as peaceful to me.” Forgiveness: difficult, yet necessary. If you are offended, choose to be mature and forgive. If you say that you have made peace with a particular person or situation, don’t keep bringing it up every chance you get. That means the following: 1) You didn’t forgive like you said. 2) You may need to take a moment to assess what role you played in allowing the offense in the first place and/or allowing the offense to hold you hostage.

Forgive, for your own peace, and carry on with your life.

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