Emotional pain has been found to be more painful than physical pain because it affects the mind, spirit, and soul of a person. If you are not an intuitive person who observes and truly listens to what a person is saying, you will miss all the signs that says, “This person is suffering from emotional pain”. People who try to mask emotional pain often present with an attitude and are angry. I challenge you to do a self-inventory and to become more aware of the people that you are in contact with,even to yourself. Listen! Listen to what they are saying and listen to your thought patterns. Don’t get me wrong, as a counselor it is very important to process your hurt and your reasoning for being hurt are valid but holding onto if for too long will cost you something.
If you hold onto to hurt for too long it can turn into unforgiveness and later into a root of bitterness that’s stirs up, sit, and marinates in our hearts. Then it can lead to other problems such bitterness, anger that can turn into rage, revengeful thoughts, suicidal thoughts, sadness, physical pain which is also called somatic complaints in mental health, health problems, fatigue, isolation, and the list goes on. Many people want to waddle in that hurt because they feel like it excuses their offender and they are off the hook. But ultimately, you are hurting yourself, hindering the start of your breakthrough.
So what is Unforgiveness?
It is when someone wrongs you and you hold onto it by being angry, upset, emotional, etc. You can tell that you are holding onto unforgiveness when you think or hear about that situation and you get really upset. What are some other ways to know that you are still holding on to unforgiveness?
1)You find yourself holding grudges.
2) You retreat into isolation from others.
3) You erupt in anger or you boil on the inside.
4) You may think of ways to get even with them.
5) You bury the wrongs done to you without really addressing them.
6) You pity yourself.
7) You carry bitterness and anger towards those who have hindered you or willfully wronged you.
8) Instead of stating the truth, you make excuses for those who wronged or hurt you.
9) You often feel sorry for yourself.
What are some of example of what unforgiveness looks like?
It is a spiritual and conscious decision to release the person, entity, institution or group who hurt you and/or betrayed you. It is releasing the right to be bitter. It is releasing the right to get even. It is a process especially for those who’ve been abused and deeply hurt.
What are some examples of what forgiveness is not?
It is not being a doormat, it is not conditional, it is not based on what’s fair, it is not excusing the wrong done to you, it is not justifying the wrong done to you, it is not executing God’s wrath, it is not based on what a person deserves, it is not you waiting for time to heal all wounds-you have to be intentional it is a process, it may not be reconciliation [requires a minimum of two people] [forgiveness only requires 1 person].
How do you forgive?
First of all be completely honest with yourself. Self-reflect and ask yourself the hard questions like, why am I always angry, why do I shut others out, what am I doing to remain in the place of unforgiveness? This is only the beginning. Many adults carry emotional pain, hurt, and unforgiveness that stemmed from childhood and a lot of the time, they don’t realize how those experiences affect them now and how it affects their future. If any of these signs speak to you or if there are other signs that you’ve noticed in yourself or someone else, there is help for you. I urge you to seek counsel from someone that is unbiased and can assist you with processing your emotions in a safe place.
Forgiveness is so freeing it takes you from a place of torment, depression, rage, and anger and into a place of rest and peace. Need help letting it go, let’s talk about it.
Check out this article that talks about how Unforgiveness, Mental Health, and Faith is all connected. FORGIVENESS AND HEALTH: REVIEW AND REFLECTIONS ON A MATTER OF FAITH, FEELINGS, AND PHYSIOLOGY