As we navigate our way through the path of life, mistakes are part of the learning curve. We are all the sum total of every scraped knee, bumped head, missed opportunity or regretful word said (or unsaid). When we’re children, mistakes teach us how to better make sense of the world around us. When we grow up, mistakes make us better people… provided that we learn all the right lessons from them and allow ourselves to grow.
The unfortunate truth is that despite our best efforts, we all still have the capacity to be selfish, misled, inconsiderate or unfair. And acknowledging that frailty in ourselves is the first step towards forgiving it in others. But when someone wrongs us, especially a close friend or even your partner or spouse, there may come a point at which it feels as though keeping them in our lives is causing damage to our mental health and wellbeing. When this happens, do we forgive them, or do we cut them out?
The importance of forgiveness
In this digital age, where cutting someone out of your life is as simple as pressing a few block buttons on your smartphone, it can be (kinda disturbingly) easy to cut someone out of your life altogether. But there are many instances where forgiveness is way more appropriate.
If, for example, someone steals from you out of addiction or desperation, cutting them out of your life can do you and them way more harm than good. It’s important not to take behavior like this personally and understand that both desperation and addiction can lead people to do things that are extremely out of character. Giving them your love, help and support certainly won’t be easy, but it can go a long way in repairing your relationship. Whether you need to help them find heroin addiction treatment programs or even lend them some money to help them to maintain some stability and rebuild their lives, you might not only save your relationship… you might also save their lives.
Toxicity in relationships, knowing the signs
The trouble with toxic relationships is that they look and feel completely normal at a glance. But over time a toxic relationship will cause harm to you. This can come in many forms. It could come in the form of physical harm, verbal bullying, emotional manipulation or financial manipulation (regularly “borrowing” money and being evasive or manipulative when it comes to repayment).
They say that we get the love we feel that we deserve. But if we have a low sense of self-worth or low self-esteem that could predispose us to believe that we deserve less.
So, do you forgive or do you cut?
Only you can decide that. People are more than the sum total of their bad deeds, and whatever your friend or partner has done to you, it doesn’t mean that they (or your relationship) are beyond redemption. However, you need to be able to spot patterns that can point to a toxic relationship and act accordingly for the sake of your own wellbeing.