By Eryka T. Johnson
For several years, I had to fight the urge to hold on to grudges and hold on to un-forgiveness because I felt like it allowed me to have control of the situation – in essence the power. It was not until I was faced with having someone else be un-forgiving towards me that I realized that this WAS NOT the way to live. In today’s article I’m sharing the secret to forgiving and moving on quickly.
When I married in 2002, I just knew it would be my husband and I facing the world together. We would agree on everything and have the “white house with picket fence” type of life that you read about in books and see on sitcoms from back-in-the-day. This would be my fairy tale life where I would be the main character and everyone else would be there to merely support me.
BOY…was I surprised ?!?!?!
Not only did we not agree on everything, it was difficult to even sometimes agree on just ONE thing. And to add to the pressure, we both have major egos and were incredibly arrogant. Recipe for disaster right? Well, it was pretty rocky for many years as we were maturing as adults.
The habit I had formed as a little girl was now creating a huge problem for me. Every time my husband said or did something I did not like, I began secretly harboring resentment. This resentment later grew to un-forgiveness. But, this is the shocker…he had the same issue with forgiveness as I did. So, we spent many years being miserable because we were unwilling to forgive each other for sometimes really silly things.
But, when we learned the importance of forgiving and letting things go, our relationship went to another level. Now, we can have “heated” discussions and resolve the issues within that same day instead of 3 years. Another good thing too is limiting the conversation to the incident at hand and not bringing back up issues we’ve already resolved.
Personally, when it comes to forgiving and moving on quickly I love to make a bold declaration. In fact, it’s a personal declaration of forgiveness.
How it works
Right after the offense occurs, I typically say…”Father, I forgive ___________ (fill in their name) and I give up my right to hold it against them.” The burden that was on my heart immediately leaves.
When it comes to my husband, I express to him the way the incident made me feel. This allows him to see things from my perspective. In most cases, his intention is very different from what I experienced. There was some mis-interpretation of words or actions that lead to the offense. We usually talk through it in person and resolve it immediately. We both ask for forgiveness and it’s over.
When it comes to others, I typically say my personal declaration and move on. I typically wait for the perfect opportunity to calmly discuss it with them. When it is someone you know on a personal level you will be more in tune with the appropriate time to have that discussion. When it’s someone you work with perhaps that may be slightly difficult. Use your best judgment but don’t stop being productive with your time.
Do you have a secret strategy you use to forgiving and moving on quickly? If so, please share below.