In the financial world there is a debt-forgiveness option known as bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is an option some people choose when they have acquired a considerable amount of debt and feel as if they’ll never be able to repay it in an expedient or efficient manner based on their current financial structure. There may be many reasons cited for the accumulation of the debt including, but not limited to, credit cards, medical bills, automobile purchases, etc. However, the bottom line is when the weight of managing debt becomes unbearable, people may select an alternative that simply allows them to start over.
Well, similar to the accumulation of debt from a financial point of view, many in today’s society are carrying a considerable amount of relationship ‘debt’ due to unforgiveness.
Recently, I’ve had discussions with individuals regarding their inability to forgive others who have wronged them in some way. After reflecting upon those discussions, the importance of exercising forgiveness towards those who are, or have been, a part of your life became very apparent. In order to set the foundation of my perspective, let me first define what forgiveness is.
Forgiveness is the process of relating to an offence committed directly or indirectly by yourself or an individual and releasing them from it.
When you do not forgive others who have hurt you it leads to a sense of bitterness in your overall countenance. Bitterness is a spiritual force of destruction that keeps you from experiencing the emotional fullness and freedom you were created to experience in life. Bitterness also has the ability to destroy people and relationships while also making you a prisoner to your past hurts and pains. Many people experience bankruptcy in their relationships because they continue carrying ‘debts’ from previous relationships into new ones.
Consider the unforgiveness a man or woman may harbor because a parent was absent from the household. This unforgiveness may lead to a warped view of the opposite sex and create a pattern of failed relationships. Have you ever experienced this before in a relationship?
Forgiveness is a source of emotional health, freedom and release. Forgiving another has the power to free you from the hurts of your past, inclusive of recent or long-term hurts and pains. Forgiveness is an act where you forfeit your right to hold another person accountable for the things they’ve done to you. More specifically, it means releasing that person from any obligation to ever reconcile with you.
The primary reason to forgive is because it allows you the opportunity to ‘love’ again! Forgiveness is not about the other person; it is about allowing YOU to move on with your life. When you opt to not forgive others in your life, it manifests itself in a negative behavioral practice of bitterness. Bitterness leads to a stronghold of bondage in your life. Many people walk around daily not recognizing they are suffering from unforgiveness. You can assess your potential for unforgiveness by evaluating whether you demonstrate one or more of the following emotional or behavioral symptoms:
1. Emotional – These are symptoms that are festered internally
• Bitterness leading to resentment
• Hatred causing extreme anger
• Anger shown through mild displeasure
2. Behavioral – These are symptoms that are exhibited externally
• Clamor where you keep bringing up old occurrences
• Evil Speaking causing you to criticize through hateful speech
• Malice where you seek to get even or intentionally harm another person
Do you possess any of the above symptoms toward an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, family member, friend or co-worker? If so, you may be harboring some unforgiveness, which may lead to recurring bankrupt relationships.
Kenny Pugh is a Life & Relationship Strategist, Author of ‘Can You Do It Standing Up?’, Speaker, HLN Contributor, Host of the Chat Kafe Radio Show (http://www.chatkafeonline.com), singles leader and sought-after speaker on singleness, relationships, finances and life. You can find more information about Kenny at http://www.kennypugh.com. You can follow him on Facebook at Kenny Pugh or on Twitter @mrkennypugh.