Forgiveness is a loaded word. People give it connotations of weakness, or act as if forgiving means absolving that person of responsibility for their choices. I don’t buy it. My experience with forgiveness is quite different.
Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. It doesn’t mean that you no longer hold the other person responsible for their actions. It means you’re not going to obsess over it anymore. It means you have more important things to spend your heart on. It means making a choice to live in the present rather than always looking back. It can be hard to see just how much luggage we’re dragging around. After a prior relationship, I went through the healing process and thought I was mostly out of the woods. But then I started talking about it instead of working through it all myself. It hit me then just how much crap I was still carrying around. I realized then that I had a lot more work to do. And I made up my mind to pursue serenity. Not for anyone else’s benefit, but for mine.
It’s easy to stay angry, but there comes a point when it becomes unhealthy. I personally don’t want to lug around all that crud. The anger goes nowhere; It stays within, festering, burning, but not harming the person it’s directed at. If you’re angry with someone right now, I’m willing to bet you’re thinking about them far more than they’re thinking about you. The anger eats a hole in your belly. That anger takes up valuable real estate in which you could be putting other more enjoyable emotions. Which sounds more appealing- Holding on to negative feelings indefinitely or getting rid of all that garbage and living your life with a grin? If you immediately get flooded with negative emotion upon hearing a certain name or seeing their face, they still have power over you.
It’s alright to be angry for a time. Embrace the anger, feel it fully. But don’t live there forever. Don’t let that anger define you. If you let anger take over your life, you have lost far more than you could ever imagine. When you’re 80, will you look back fondly on those years you spent seething about this other person who has long since forgotten about you? Alternately, you could get off your ass and create lasting memories with people who actually care about you. Then you’ll have something to relish.