It’s so hard to forgive because we think that once we forgive, we’re making ourselves vulnerable to getting hurt again.
We’re opening a door that normally remains locked. We’re exposing ourself to more disappointment.
When someone does something that hurts us, the pain that we feel mixed with the pride that arises in us as we think to ourselves that “we’d never do that to someone,” creates an especially inhospitable environment. Unmerciful.
We are unforgiving as we elevate ourself in order to denigrate someone else.
It feels good to tell ourselves that we’re way better than someone else, morally speaking.
To make this person pay for all of the times we’ve felt shame, guilt, and rejection.
We’re not in the hot seat this time. Nope. We’re free and this person gets to suffer just as much as we’ve suffered. This person gets to feel bad just as much as we’ve felt bad. All the venom that we’ve given ourselves throughout our life gets redirected to this new person because they’ve managed to abuse us in a way that we deem worse than how we constantly abuse ourself.
Or maybe its just a different way.
Either way, our self-blame and self-hatred have a new host to feed on.
But the joke of it all is that the new host never ends up feeling as bad as we hope. Because the person we’re really torturing, whether it’s self-hatred or external hatred, is always ourself. Even when we think we’re escaping our own abuse, once again we find the bruises on our own skin.