Human beings are creatures of habit, driven by emotion just as strongly as by reason. We become used to being a certain way, and over time, our reactions to people, things, and situations around us also begin to follow a pattern. Especially when those situations involve pain, loss or betrayal, our reactions can be predicted based on the personalities we’ve developed over the years. But we don’t all react the same way – some of us find it harder to deal with pain and betrayal than others. Some will be able to present that they are feeling fine when in reality, they’ve just swept the issue under the rug instead of dealing with it. Others, still, seem to be immune to it and soldier on.
Understanding your own feelings is the first step in forgiveness
Whether it is pain, loss, and betrayal the first step is to be kind to yourself. Forgiveness is a difficult path to tread upon. It requires almost as much from us as it does from the person being forgiven. One cannot understand how to overcome the
pain they are experiencing, and move on to forgiveness. There remains a sense of things remaining unsaid, issues remaining unresolved.
It is sometimes easier to ignore instead of forgiving. You simply shut down every thought related to that incident that caused pain or sorrow and led to betrayal. You shut down physically as well, flinching each time your partner comes close. You give
in to reactionary thoughts of anger when you do allow yourself to think about it, and the questions are usually extreme – should you go or should you stay? Why would you want to stay, what’s holding you back? Don’t you want to be happy?
So, you can see that forgiving another person is actually a deeply personal and individual experience. It has more to do with you than the person who hurt you. You begin to confuse your own self-worth with the experience of being hurt. You may question – do you even matter? Should you be taking any action at all?
Do it for yourself, and not for anyone else
Time and time again, we have heard about friends, neighbor or in the family who say they are doing fine in their relationship, because they simply ignore or overlook the betrayal or the disloyalty. Just to give an example. Someone was cheated on by her husband. Unfortunately, she just couldn’t begin to place herself at the center of the situation. She couldn’t think beyond her family and children. Yes, the children will also suffer and they will also feel the pain of a separation or another change. But at
the end of the day, choosing to stay silent will cause its own kind of suffering. Not only will the mother or father continue to grieve in a silent, unspoken way, but the children will experience the agony too. It is only her husband who benefits from her
silence – no one else.
Pre-notes to remember and keep in mind
Whether or not you’ve experienced pain and betrayal already, it’s always advisable to set yourself to learn the skills. No matter how much you love and trust your partner, or if you don’t even have a partner yet – it can be invaluable to look out for yourself
• Educate yourself: Focus on learning in general, meeting people who have gone through such event and how they handle the situation.
• Remain employed: Don’t leave your job, no matter what happens – it can ensure you have something to go on, if the unthinkable happens. For example-sudden death or sickness.
• Keep yourself busy: Not only should you be economically stable, but you should be mentally stable as well. A good way to do that is to work on a business or find time for a hobby you love.
• Find time for yourself: You are the heart of your existence – remember that. Your children will grow up and move away, and you don’t want to realize you’ve lost yourself along the way. Do things that are just for you. Go travel, and do it while you’re young.
• Find your own partner: Even though friends and family might try to set you up or match you with a potential partner, you know best. Don’t get pushed around, and don’t just let things happen to you. You are in charge of your own destiny.
• Go for a walk, meditate or join a gym. This will keep your mind, body, and brain healthy