Unfortunately, most of us have been cheated on at some point in our lives.
It's an experience we purposefully choose to forget and regardless of the time that's gone by, it doesn't take a lot of effort to relive a play-by-play of that painful experience.
Yet most of us can agree because of that moment in our lives, something unexpected and positive happened as a result.
For me, that experience would be the beginning of my self-discovery process: a journey that continues to evolve and teach me things about myself that more often than not, feel like hidden gems.
Thanks to pain, I now know how strong I truly am and am happy to encourage those around me who have yet to see the power in their strength, because it's something that resides within all of us.
That process became sweeter and more transparent the moment I chose gratitude and forgiveness.
When I was filled with anger and resentment, I couldn't see more than 5 feet in front of me because the heaviness of those emotions clouded many of the positive things that stood before me.
It was almost as if forgiveness painted my life with brighter colors and expanded anything that felt good.
Forgiveness was the spark that ignited all the good things that would follow. Realizing that it's always in our best interest to go this route, I often wish forgiveness were an automatic preset in our mind.
Forgiveness is not about becoming a doormat, turning the other cheek or wishing our SO would feel remorse;
Forgiveness is about choosing to see the light and letting go of the dark even if that means letting go of a relationship that no longer serves your soul.
Regardless of the circumstances, I can say with certainty forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves because it is always in our best interest to practice this powerful act.
1. Forgiving someone makes you stronger.
Stepping into the victim role is easier than stepping outside the circumstance to evaluate what's taking place.
When you've been cheated on, it can send your self-worth into a downward spiral and make you question every thought, action and emotion you've ever experienced.
Suddenly, you doubt yourself anytime you make a decision and forget all of your greatest attributes.
Did you give your SO too much? Did you not give enough?
While you may have learned some things about yourself, true strength arises when you start to feed your self-worth with positivity.
There is nothing more empowering than being the kind of person not easily influenced by external factors -- including infidelity.
However, when you forgive and let go, we can practice self-love on yourself: the person who matters the most.
2. Forgiveness allows you to feel acceptance.
Before you can let go of a relationship or truly accept the outcome, you have to forgive everyone involved.
You must forgive your partner and yourself for not being able to predict what would happen.
We are not superheroes and therefore, we do the best we can with the tools we have at the moment.
Sometimes those tools are infused with immaturity, selfishness, ego and a huge lack of self-awareness.
When someone cheats or breaks your heart in some way, these tools are the ones they're working with, which is why it's pivotal forgiveness take precedence in order to put your heart at ease.
When our focus is turned toward blaming other people and holding on to negative feelings, we are choosing to cling to the past and therefore, preventing us from acknowledging the beauty of the present moment and the faith that the future will be OK.
3. Forgiveness opens new doors.
Have you ever noticed some people seem to invite the same storyline into their life over and over again?
The only thing that changes is the name of the individual and maybe their shirt size, but the outcome and series of events are almost too close for comfort.
When there's a lesson we are supposed to learn, yet we refuse to forgive, similar circumstances present themselves until we are ready to absorb what the universe is trying to teach us.
Choosing to forgive your SO releases attachment and leads you toward new positive relationships that don't resemble previous experiences because you've already been there, done that.
Hey, you might even learn a thing or two along the way.