When a close friend really hurt me deeply I felt attacked mentally, physically, and emotionally. I always felt out of control. I faced humiliation and suffered anxiety. I developed migraine headaches and spent time in the hospital. Their words made me feel worthless. Am I worthless?
You most certainly are not worthless. Why? It is because all people are special, unique, and irreplaceable. There never was a person on this earth quite like you…..and there never will be again. As with the case of self-esteem or negative feelings toward the self, your thinking sometimes can become too general about who you are relative to the betrayals which you have experienced. You might slowly, and without even noticing it, drift into negative self-statements about who you are as a person. It is time to resurrect the truth: You are a person of worth no matter what, not matter how much pain you have, no matter the condemning statements from others. I urge you to re-read the previous sentence until this new thinking about who you are is solidified and consistent within you. You….have…..great……worth.
There is a difference between what forgiveness is and why we do it. To forgive, by definition, is to be good to those who are not good to you. This is not a focus on the self, but on the other. If your motivation is to feel better, this is reasonable, especially if you are experiencing inner discomfort because of ongoing resentment. Thus, what forgiveness is and your current motivation can differ. One (the forgiving) is centered on the other. Your motivation is centered on your own healing. Neither of these is selfish. As a final point, not all motivations to forgive are centered on self-healing. For example, a person might be motivated to forgive for the sake of the one who offended.