Well, the easy answer is that forgiveness is a choice. As with many aspects of life, you get to decide if an offense is worth releasing.
What if the offender is you?
What if I told you that as an athlete operating in un-forgiveness is directly related to some of the challenges you experience with performance, with injuries and what may seem like chaos in your personal relationships.
Operating in un-forgiveness, often involves holding on to the pain, the disappointment and the anger. If you didn't know, it shows up, whether you talk about "IT" or not.
There is this myth that 'keeping it to yourself' means you don't have to deal.
Where did you learn to focus on recovery of the physical to get back to the game, the track, field, or court, served a higher priority than healing of emotional wounds. We will dive into that further in the future.
So you go harder at the gym, you lose interest in things you enjoyed, or you find yourself seeking fulfillment in things, but you never really feel fulfilled, so you seek more...still unfulfilled and unsure of why.
There is a misconception that forgiveness means that you are in agreement with the offense, or that no accountability is required. That is further from the truth. It means, that you are giving yourself permission to feel the emotions, but not be controlled by them. Of course, there is further exploration that can happen in therapy.
Take a moment to think about what makes you feel at peace and produces a genuine smile, now look back on the past 6 months to a year. What do you see?
Do you see growth or have you felt stagnant?
Do you see healthy relationships, or do you see constant conflict and/or avoidance?
Do you see rest, or sleepless nights?
Were you experiencing nagging tension in your body, or relaxation?
Even when you are not consciously aware, your body is. The decisions you make, the relationships you have, your performance, are all a reflection of what may or may not have been forgiven.
Forgiveness is making a choice to release yourself from the guilt or shame and see the lesson in the experience. It is deciding that the offenders actions do not have the power to dictate how you navigate relationships, your perception of self, or you abilities.
Ask yourself how holding on to "it" serves you?
Forgiveness is absolutely a choice, but it's also necessary for growth, peace and physical wellness. Choose wisely.