there are a lot of things in the life I have had to define for myself. forgiveness is one of them.

I have been given ample opportunity to forgive people for horrendous things done not only to myself, but to those I love. Not exactly one of those opportunities people are vying for but nonetheless I have it.

But I have learned a lot of things from that opportunity and I feel that if I didn't there would have been a lot more mistakes made in my life of a mess sometimes.

Here are my top 3:

1. Forgiveness isn't just once.
There was a point in my life where a person hurt me so badly that even if I smelled something that reminded me of them I would get nauseated (don't worry I only threw up twice). I stopped hanging out with most of our mutual friends because I didn't want to be reminded of said person. I gained 20 pounds.
I thought I had forgiven them but soon learned that it was going to take a lot more than what I had done. I have forgiven this person over and over again. And while for the most part I no longer have to worry about getting hurt when their name is brought up and I have no idea what that smell was, there are those rare moments when I need to forgive them once again.

2. Forgiveness means not letting someone hurt you anymore.
How can you forgive someone if you are afraid that they are still going to hurt you? You can't. So there are two options in this case: You either have to trust this person or put them at a distance to where they cannot hurt you again. How do you know which one to do? That is where logic, reasoning, instinct (whether you need to learn to follow it or ignore it) and in my case spiritual guidance come in. It isn't an easy decision. For the most part, when someone hurts us that deep it means we let them in on a deep level. To let them go, or to let them in once again... That is a challenge. The distance can be emotionally, physically or altogether but being angry and running away from hurt doesn't really solve problems.

3. Forgiveness does not mean you are a doormat
Forgiving is not weak. In fact it takes quite a bit of strength, especially if a person hurt someone you love or is someone you love. But forgiveness does not mean letting someone walk all over you again and again, letting them hurt and or use you time and again. Forgiveness is for when you are finished being hurt. I am not saying that people have a forgiveness limit on them, that if the mess up on little things a few times that is it. I am saying that a person who asks your forgiveness again and again, who messes up on the big things like fidelity, loyalty, morals, etc again and again... If you say you're forgiving them, in all reality you're most likely being a doormat. I know that I said forgiveness isn't just once, but then again forgiveness isn't being stupid either. I forgave that person in my example for one incident over and over again, but I made sure I was far away from him before I did.

This is my opinion, I am bound to be wrong every once in awhile. After all I am only twenty-three. So if you don't agree... Forgive me?

Terribly cheesy... I know.

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