“Resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die”
What does that even mean? Well, let me explain.
When I first shared my story about my father molesting me as a child, I was met with mixed reactions. Some were supportive and empathetic, while others were incredulous and even hostile. But one thing that stood out to me was the common refrain of, “How can you forgive him for what he has done?”
It’s a fair question, and one that I grappled with for years before I finally reached a place of forgiveness. It wasn’t an easy or quick process, and it certainly wasn’t something that I did for my father’s benefit. In fact, he was in a vegetative state on his deathbed when I spoke to him and forgave him.
But the act of forgiveness wasn’t about him at all. It was about me and my own healing journey. For years, I had carried the weight of my trauma with me, and it was a constant source of pain and sadness. It affected my relationships, my work, and my overall sense of well-being. I realized that holding onto anger and resentment was only hurting me, and that forgiving my father was the key to my own liberation.
Of course, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning what happened. It simply means letting go of the anger and bitterness that can consume us when we hold onto past traumas. It means acknowledging the harm that was done, but also recognizing that we have the power to choose how we respond to that harm.
Forgiveness is a powerful act of self-love and self-care. It allows us to release the negative emotions that are weighing us down and to move forward with a renewed sense of hope and possibility. It’s not always easy, and it’s certainly not a one-time event, but it’s a journey that is well worth taking.
I hope this shows you how harboring feelings of resentment, anger, and sadness can be toxic to one’s mental and emotional health (the poison) and would not affect the other person who has caused you the harm.
In the end, forgiving my father was the best thing I could have done for myself. It allowed me to reclaim my life and my identity, and to move forward with a sense of peace and acceptance. It was a long and difficult road, but it was worth it to finally be free of the chains that had been holding me down for so many years.
May you be blessed with the gift of forgiveness, and may it bring you peace, joy, and fulfillment in your life