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A very important thing to remember about forgiveness is that when you give it you have to maintain it!  You should not forgive someone and then continue to think about what you forgave them for. Don’t leave the hook in the fish’s mouth and throw it back if you do not want to keep that fish!  Dwelling on it is not going to help anyone and is going to counter the benefits of forgiving them in the first place.  When you forgive, it’s gone…and I mean gone! You have to forgive and move on. Now keep in mind as I mentioned in a previous post that forgiving does not mean you completely forget and I know that can be a really confusing concept but it is possible.  You can move on from a situation and not let it affect you but remember it and make changes in your life accordingly. It may mean that you never trust that individual again or that you are never around them again but you need to move on from the hurt and the pain of what they did to you.  

Picture getting a brand new puppy when you have never had a dog before.  Say you are going to meet some friends for dinner so you leave that puppy in the kitchen with a gate to keep it in.  You have a great time with friends but when you get home the wall and cabinets are chewed up and that puppy made a huge mess.  You might be upset and pretty frustrated but I bet you forgive that puppy pretty quickly. However, you will certainly not make that same mistake again!  You will forgive the puppy but the situation that brought you a bit of pain will change your future behavior to protect yourself. This is an easy picture of forgiveness that we can apply to our own lives.

You have to let it go or else it will just come back and all the negative aspects of unforgiveness that are present will hurt you all over again.  The whole point of forgiving is that you are letting go of the pain and hurt and moving on. When you forgive a person but hold on to everything inside that happened it’s actually as if you did not forgive them at all.  It’s ok if you completely move on from the person too, but if those feeling of pain and hurt ever try to creep back in you need to take control of them and purge them out of you. Don’t let them creep back in and take hold again or have any power over you.  You have forgiven them, you have moved on from those feelings and you have chosen not to let them affect you any longer. Don’t go back, don’t turn back the clock and let them begin to own a part of you again.

So this is a simple concept but the hard work has to come in the moment of those feelings creeping back in and I promise you they will try.  Don’t be angry at that puppy but don’t let it chew up your house anymore! Forgive and move on and DO NOT let it come back in and hurt you anymore!  You are bigger than that pain, you are better than letting it come back and you are stronger than the situation. Move on and stay moved on and let that hurt fade away into nothing.  You can do it, you are stronger than you can possibly imagine!!