What do you mean, “forgiving my giver? That rotten, no-good, lying, cheating piece of…”
It might be considered blasphemy in the H world, but I’ve forgiven my giver. He has never actually admitted he IS my giver, but as he is the only person I had sex with for 4 years, I’m pretty sure he’s the one. What’s more, he refuses to get tested and says there’s no way he has herpes. Total denial.
Forgiveness is a radical decision in today’s troubled world. It contradicts “an eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth”. Still, I forgave him…not for him, but for me. I had to either decide to forgive my giver or hold on to bitterness and anger. I realized that could poison the rest of my life if I let it. The sad thing is… in wishing to send someone to hell, you end up there yourself.
First, I figured out that forgiving him was not forgetting, condoning, accepting or approving of what he did. Forgiveness is not denying something bad happened, because it did. There’s no way my giver can take back what he gave me…no real way to make amends, even if he wanted to. Nobody, not even me, can go back and do “it” again.
Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation. I don’t have to like my giver or be his friend. In fact, he doesn’t even know I forgave him. There was no reason for him to be involved. Forgiving him simply keeps the deed from doing further damage to me and my world.
Forgiveness is the mental, emotional and/or spiritual process of ceasing to feel resentment or anger toward another person. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. It’s about setting ourselves free by releasing the past so it no longer has control over our thoughts and feelings. Disturbed thinking or emotions drain us. Forgiveness has everything to do with our own well-being.
When we hold a grudge, we’re jeopardizing our own health. Criticism, bitterness, anger, judgment and hatred are like toxins in the body that create stress and illness. Guess what stress causes? OBs. If you’re unable to let go of the desire for vengeance, you’ll never find true healing. We must forgive in order to survive and thrive. Dr. Fred Luskin, who writes about forgiveness, stated, “The long-term effects of not forgiving can cause cardiovascular problems, while forgiveness can actually boost one’s immune system”. I sure don’t want the double H…heart attack and herpes! Forgiveness is a powerful healing agent that increases hope and self-esteem. It makes us happier and less stressed. It decreases depression and anxiety.
So how can you forgive the unforgivable? You say you’ve tried and tried and still…you want your giver to die an agonizingly slow and painful death.
First, decide you’ll no longer live as if you are a victim. You’re a survivor! You’re a worthwhile and wonderful person! Stop victimizing yourself. Next, be thankful your giver showed you what NOT to do. The harm you received should make anyone with a conscience not want to harm anyone else…including yourself.
The mental and physical health benefits of forgiveness are well established. Holding anger or resentment in our hearts clearly takes a toll on our bodies and our minds. We all want to be well, don’t we? I do, I do!
Maybe you still need to vent, if not to your giver, to an empty chair, out in the woods or in a heartfelt letter. Fully express your feelings…really let them have it. Include yourself for any regrets you may have about poor decisions you made. If you DO write a letter, burn or bury it. Have a little funeral for it! Say goodbye to all your bad feelings.
Letting go is a decision that’s difficult for many people. It’s like a promise to yourself not to hold a grudge, not to keep dwelling on what happened and not to keep replaying the past. Say to yourself, “Well, it happened. It can’t happen again and there’s nothing I can do to change my diagnosis”. The past is the past. It’s time to move on.
A fabulous, fun-filled, exciting and happy future awaits you…unless you hold on to bitterness and resentment. Forgiving your giver sets you free to go on to better, more honest, loving relationships…relationships built on truth, not deception.
I can thank my giver for that.
Comment originally published on the Honeycomb Herpes Support forums.