UNITED STATES—I literally hear this time and time again. Forgiveness is something you have to do for yourself in order to move on in life. However, it is not always that easy to forgive someone when they wrong you. As human beings we have emotions and a bulk of the time those emotions can get the best of us. When something unfolds that cuts you to the core it is difficult to forget about what has happened. You have sleepless nights, you have rage, you have regret, you have disgust, hell, you experience a lot of emotions that are difficult to place into worlds.

I recently had an incident with a family member that cut me to the core. I mean it cut to the core and it was deep. That is the thing about family they cut deep because they know they can and as a result your heart is tugged at more than you imagine. Your heart and brain can be at conflict more than you imagine. Your brain might be telling you, “That is it. Enough is enough. This person has wronged you so many times and if you open your doors to the again, it is only going to end badly.”

Then on the flipside, your heart starts to tug. “They weren’t in their right of mind. That is your brother, that is your sibling; you can’t just discard them like that it is not right.” How do you process those things? Honestly, seek a therapist or do some journaling. I’m not the biggest advocate on speaking to a therapist all the time because I think it depends on the therapist where you might be drudging up things that perhaps you put behind you. Now at the same time, it might be good to talk about things that you haven’t actually dealt with. Whether it is getting an objective viewpoint on the situation that can help.

At the same time, there is plenty of opportunity for you to work out whatever you might be feeling by talking about how an incident made you feel. Did you want to scream? Did you want to punch something? Did you want to cry? Getting out how you feel makes a big difference because you’re moving towards the goal of forgiveness. When you harbor emotions based on something that transpired it eats away at you more than the other person.

They might not even be thinking about what happened. They have already moved onto other things, you’re allowing that incident and what that person did to you to occupy your brain and your energy for the day. Now look, I’m not just saying throw it out the window as if it never happened, because truth be told that is not that easy to do. You need time, but don’t allow something to take up years or decades of your life. You’re not progressing by allowing such to transpire. Take control of your life, determine what you need or don’t need from the other person to move on in life.

The thing that you have to grapple with is that you may NOT get what you want from the other person and that is ok. They may not give you the apology or the “I’m sorry” that you are desperately seeking. You might think you need that, but the reality is in life forgiveness is just sometimes letting things go as difficult as they can be at times. However, the weight you feel being lifted off your shoulders when that forgiveness transpires is impossible to describe with words.