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  • Writer's pictureSally and Jonah Ismael

The Power of Forgiveness

According to many psychologists, forgiveness is “a conscious and intended decision to get rid of feelings of resentment or revenge towards a person or group that has hurt you, regardless of whether they deserve your forgiveness.” Deciding to forgive a person or group that caused pain and hurt us was not an easy thing for each of us, nor was it a choice we would make because we were comfortable or convinced in it. We had to decide to preserve our well-being and move on. We would be lying if we said we had healed and recovered entirely because that isn’t true. The scars that have arisen within us as a result of these painful and harmful actions towards us have constantly reminded us that we are deeply hurt.

Our story goes back to two years ago when we were subject to severe emotional and mental harassment and rejection by our former master, who repeatedly bullied and mistreated us. We were two little kids who had just opened their eyes to see the world. We had to stand up for ourselves and stop these acts of bullying. Our reaction to our master’s abuse clashed with his ego, and he did not accept that "children" disagreed with his unacceptable behavior. He was the national team's head coach back then; his strength and authority were more potent than our abilities as children. We had to leave the training gym and started looking for another gym to continue our training. Things started looking bad when all the local gyms started turning us down. The master used his power to threaten every coach not to accept us in their gyms. It was a very traumatic experience for us; we were afraid and terrorized by this master. We felt isolated and alone. It took us a while until we started hearing a lot of rumors about us. Not only did this coach keep blocking the way for us to continue training the sport we loved so much, but he was determined to close all the doors for us and crush our dream as well. He went beyond spreading rumors across the country at every gym so he could make sure no one was helping us. After a few months filled with emotions, we decided to train in our garage. We trained daily during the summer and winter times; it was a harrowing experience for us to feel the rejection and unfairness at a young age. It's been six years, and we're still training in our garage alone; even though we have made it to the World Cadet Championships and the European Cadet Championships, we still feel this pain inside our hearts.

We have decided to move on, forgive so we can heal, but are we fully recovered from this traumatic experience? We were constantly searching for answers to the many questions in our minds. The act of forgiveness may be applied to someone who causes you pain when their negative behavior occurs once or twice. Still, the persistence of painful feelings resulting from experiencing acts of rejection, bullying, and abuse will leave no opportunity for forgiveness or forgetfulness. So it was difficult for both of us to understand the terrible deeds that our master had done to harm us. Our success has proven that athletes and individuals can go far if they put their minds to win the battle they encounter. The number of negative emotions, rejection, and bullying we have had to experience and still suffer from, naturally took a deep approach towards revenge, but what is the point of releasing a negative attitude towards others who have caused us pain?

Imitating the negative behaviors of others will not make us better than them. Confronting a hostile situation with an adverse reaction will harm our well-being. Although we still suffer from the pain this coach has caused us; we have chosen to forgive for our well-being.

Forgiveness didn't solve the problem and didn't erase the pain, but it did give us a chance to move on. We have attained a peaceful mind with tolerance, and it has allowed us to reason about the next chapter of our lives, the chapter that we can write. To re-evaluate everything we do and see what choices we have without any irrational and emotional impulses. We won't lie to ourselves and say yes; we forgive him because we didn't. We chose to turn the page and move on even with his continuing actions to hurt us. Getting into negative fights would harm our well-being, and we would never win any of these battles. He had the power and the authority for the action, yet we had the power and control over our reaction to his behaviors. He couldn't make us fear his power. Instead, it motivated us to prove him wrong. He may believe that he made us feel fear and terror from his power, but we are the only ones who have complete authority and control over our reactions and feelings to his actions.

We can fully forgive if the behavior stops and we already have had time to heal, but how can we fully forgive and still feel the burn deep inside us every day with his negative behaviors towards our existence as athletes and our identity as children? How can we be so indulgent? How have we just blown off our 16th birthday candles and still train in the garage alone because of his negative action? How can we forget our painful childhood memories of being rejected as children? Many questions still need answers, yet we can forgive because we have power over our feelings, thoughts, and reactions. Forgiveness is a decision we have to make to allow our mind and heart to function in a healthy environment, but it is not easy to develop specifically for children. Don’t let any struggles or obstacles stop you from what you have in mind, what you want to do later in life, and what your goal is. Face through the hard times, and you’ll get to the good times. Forgivness is a powerful weapon. #empowerment #empower #psychologyofhealing #forgiveness #mindset #taekwondo #embraceyourpowers #mentalhealthempowerment #motivational #writeyourstory

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