If we are honest, we all have a mental list of all the ways our significant others have offended or hurt us. The weight of our “hard-to-get-over baggage” has a way of traveling long distances and taking up more space than is healthy. A recent article revealed a startling statistic; it said that couples get into a whopping 2,455 arguments per year. Money, children, time, sex and family balance all can basically inhibit the feeling of love in even the most solid of relationships. Keeping a running tally of all that hurts you, is literally hurting your relationship.
The answer rests in one of the strongest teachings of Christ – the act of Forgiveness. Unfortunately, it isn’t a one-time act. Forgiveness should be the base layer of all our emotional clothing. Many reading this article might be thinking to themselves, “How can I forgive betrayal or infidelity?” Painful experiences are also one of life’s most significant teachings. Despite the validity of the lessons taught my painful memories, it has also encouraged us to pay more attention to the pain, rather than healing powers of a Christ centered relationship.
The Principles of Forgiveness
Forgiveness isn’t about forgetting what’s happened as that would be an impossibility. However, denying mind the temptation to live in old memories is accepting the possibilities of better ones in its place. It is in fact, a discipline to remain in hope. A closed heart to miracles will never experience one. We must remember it is important to remain “coachable” in God’s eyes.
Forgiveness is closing off the negativity from outside influences. Surrounded by all those that love and protect us is to also the opportunity for relationship sabotaging advice and counsel. Wise words and stories of experience should be appreciated and heard, however, it is vital not to substitute your judgement for someone else’s. Be wary of those whom call themselves your friends. Spend time in solitude, and meditate. Focus deeply on the concepts of faith, love, and hope versus our own understanding.
Forgiveness is the ability to move forward. Stuck in the memory cycle keeps relationships stuck in failure mode. At some point, some hard questions may have to be addressed. Can I commit to being committed? Am I able to live in today’s hope or yesterday’s disappointment?
What Would Forgiving My Partner Look Like?
Most likely, true forgiveness might look like sacrifice. Admittedly, having gone through intensive heartbreak and reconciliation, I would say a major part is the sacrifice of your pride. The desire to look past the transgressions of others and give God a chance to work in your favor is the hardest part of forgiveness. Here is the short list of potential short term sacrifices:
- The possibility of losing friends and or disappointing family members.
- Losing a few arguments, or at least committing to not right-fighting.
- Absolute decision to leave major infractions in the past. – This means not bringing the history of your relationship into the present.
The Power of Forgiveness
Dive deep into your memory. Remember how good it feels to be truly sorry for having hurt someone and good it feels when they understand and accept your apology? From the age of innocence, I can remember the fickleness of playmates of having those daily misgivings disappear into the next slumber party. I can’t help but to reflect on the magic of those days as a young girl and remembering nothing for more than fifteen minutes. Certainly, our younger selves were far more skilled as forgiveness than our adult versions.
I have always loved the quote by the beloved Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This quote speaks directly to the power of forgiveness, as it outlines ability to leave our significant someone’s feeling loved and treasured, despite having not earned it. Powerful actions such as forgiveness opens the door to powerful interventions; Just remember to stand clear of the doorway for God to enter.
So, I ask you what if you were to forgive all the infractions of 2016? Can you imagine the possibilities of embarking upon the New Year with intention and purpose? Invest in new attitude, expect good things to happen, depend on love instead of dredging up pain. Give permission to yourself and partner to be happy. Many have found solace in focusing on the good things versus being angry and remaining in a quitting state of mind. Forgiveness is your friend and favor almost always follows. May the blessings of the New Year be upon you.
Thank you for reading,
Candace (Candy) Kastanis