Story: Mary Bosiu
People will hurt and betray you, but forgiveness benefits you.
You probably know people who have hurt and betrayed you. Welcome to the club! And it is a big one. Whenever you go through a rough patch as a result of the people you interact with, take a deep breath and ask yourself some uncomfortable questions. What have I done to attract victimizers and abusers into my space? Have I set boundaries as to what I can take or not take?
The answers to these questions could sober you into standing to defend your right to be treated with respect and dignity. You may end up drawing appropriate lines that should not be crossed or being a respectable person by correcting whatever it is about you that is not right, the “something” that makes it easy for people to step on your toes.
My rocky relationship
I had a marriage that was, putting it mildly, rocky. The situation was so bad it was affecting my health. I had black patches all over my face. I used to twitch whenever I was upset. It was rough. Asking myself the uncomfortable questions enabled me to realize I had contributed something to my situation. How? I had not set boundaries about how I should be treated. I was not a respectable person then, immature and pretty wet behind the ears.
I thank God that I have grown and now know better. My personal growth did not lead to a situation where the abuse stopped; it continued. But the situation I went through taught me a valuable life lesson, and it is this: I cannot change or control another human being. The only person I can change and control is me!
My contribution toward the flawed foundation of my marriage made it easy for me to forgive my partner. What is forgiveness? It is a declaration (by act or conduct) that you are not embarking on hostility—aggression or any other negative tactic. It is all about moving your focus away from what hurt you.
Forgiveness is not an approval of the wrong committed. It is not an endorsement of what happened. Put in other words, it does not mean you should put yourself in a situation where you will be hurt, betrayed, or abused again. It also does not mean you can’t seek legal protection. I sought protection and got a divorce.
Forgiveness redeemed me. When my ex-husband passed away, it was easy for me to be a source of comfort to his girlfriend. I remember one of my friends asking, “How can you be so nice to her when she made it difficult for you to be reconciled?” I responded, “I choose to forgive and not become bitter for the simple reason that forgiveness is not about other people. It is about me and my desire to be well.”
Why do people carry unforgiving spirit?
A lot of people feel justified not to forgive because they believe they will be letting the wrongdoer off the hook. That is wrong. When you forgive, you do not set the wrongdoer free, your set yourself free from the weight and burden of a heavy, unforgiving heart. Holding on to the wrongdoing has no effect on the other person. It dilutes your wellness.
About the author
Mary Bosiu is a lawyer, motivational speaker, author of three inspirational books, trainer, and life coach. Her passion for holistic development enabled her to design and facilitate several seminars focused on service excellence, leadership skills, stress management, financial wisdom, team building, and more. Visit marybosiu.com for more information.