Are there people in your life that you need to forgive? Have others’ comments or actions contributed to the onset or the continuance of your eating disorder? What role has forgiveness played in your recovery?
Given the possibilities of contributing factors to one’s eating disorder, it’s understandable if you have people in your life you need to forgive. Perhaps you were abused in some way, whether it was physical, mental, verbal, sexual or emotional abuse. It could be that the pain of those experiences contributed to the onset of your eating disorder. You might be tempted to place blame for the eating disorder on anyone who may have abused you.
Maybe someone has made comments about your eating disorder or recovery that have been discouraging or harmful to you. Perhaps it was because that person doesn’t really understand eating disorders, or it could be that he or she intentionally made a cutting comment toward you.
In cases of abuse, especially if it was severe, consider getting professional help of some kind. Whether you choose to see a therapist, Christian counselor, a pastor or someone else, this person can guide you in this area of forgiveness. This does not mean that what others did to you is acceptable, but it means that you can move forward in your life without carrying the pain of their comments or actions.
For lesser offenses, let their actions and comments be what they are – a reflection on them and not you. In other words, people often act and speak out of their own pain, insecurities or other issues. While what they say or do may indeed appear and feel like it’s something personal against you, and sometimes they may intentionally mean it that way, there are many times it may not really be that way at all. It may be that person feels the need to kick someone else down in an attempt to elevate him or herself. Certainly it’s unfair and unkind at the very least. But don’t let that person’s issues continue to bring you down. You don’t deserve to feel badly about yourself or that you shouldn’t get help as a result of the comments or actions of others. You don’t have to live a life affected by what they’ve said or done. You can live free of those effects by forgiving.
Eating disorder recovery is complicated, so do yourself a favor and try your best not to let what others have done to you stifle your recovery in any way. You have a better life waiting for you. Don’t let anyone prevent you from experiencing it.
If you have difficulty forgiving, you are not alone in that. Perhaps it would help you to read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. His life is a beautiful illustration of forgiveness. It may also help you to remember that, even while dying on the cross, Jesus cried out to the Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him. Consider taking time to concentrate on that scene and what it meant.
In Christian eating disorder recovery, you always have the Lord to turn to for help to forgive. Who better to confide in and get help from than the most forgiving Man who ever walked the earth and also the One who knows you best and who knows your offender best. He understands the whole situation from a deeper perspective than anyone else can. Let Him help you forgive. Not only will this help you break free of the effects of what was said or done to you, but it will also help you draw closer to the Lord. And that can only be a good thing.