Written Interview on Forgiving: A Journey with Sierra Zimmer
Questions by Charlene Gonzales
Here’s the Original Post
C: Hello hello Sierra! I loved reading your new blog post and it is such an inspirational story about forgiveness! I love how you spoke about the importance of learning to forgive and learning to let go of the past. What was your inspiration for writing this topic?
S: Hi Charlene, thank you so much! Honestly, I had like four different pieces I thought of when I was writing this. But as I was brainstorming I was really thinking hard about forgiveness and what it means to me. I just recently have gone through this recognition and I wanted to share my thoughts on it as I found forgiving to be exactly what I needed in life. Forgiveness has always been difficult for me but I’ve been working on myself a lot recently and I found forgiveness to be a large part of my self-care agenda.
C: I love the quotes you put into your blog post about forgiveness! What made you inspired to put these wonderful quotes in your blog?
S: As I was researching what to say for this post, researching forgiveness itself, I came across a list of quotes about forgiveness and I found a lot of them inspiring and motivating for me. They recognized what I felt and I hope it does for others too. I always find that hearing many others have been where I am and felt the same things to be super validating.
C: You mentioned everyone forgives differently. What does forgiveness look like to you? What steps have you taken to learn how to forgive others?
S: Forgiveness to me is just being at peace with the actions made before. I held a grudge against my dad for so long for things he said or did in the past. I wanted to let go of that grudge but didn’t know how. Therapy really helped me to understand that I was mad about something that wasn’t occurring anymore. My dad had made so many efforts to fix things but I refused to recognize that because I thought it would always fall back to the same things. I wanted to give him another chance. Recognizing that was my first step to forgive. Then it was all about acceptance of the past.
C: I love the way you tied forgiveness and relationships with your family. How has learning to forgive impact your relationship with your father?
S: I think it goes back and forth sometimes. Sometimes, I feel at peace with our relationship now and sometimes the past comes back to me and I feel that resentment I’ve worked so hard to get past. I think that’s normal. I recognize that those feelings are getting less and less overwhelming and I’m starting to feel more peace than anger. My relationship with my father was honestly a huge deal for me and my family. I didn’t even want to be home because I felt so much hostility around the house, from him and me. Learning to forgive has helped me feel safer in my house and be thankful for my relationship with him.
C: When learning to forgive others seems to be difficult, what are some ways you would help someone who is struggling to forgive others?
S: I think just walking them through the steps and reminding them that they are the ones in control of forgiving. They have the option to let go of that anger and resentment at any point they like. It doesn’t mean you have to forget that pain but accept it for what it is and move on. And remember that when someone wants to forgive, that will to do so has to come from them. It’s not up to us on how or when someone forgives. You can tell them all the things I wrote in my blog, but it’s up to them from there. They may need time or more from the person they’re learning to forgive and that’s okay.
C: How has learning to forgive others impact you personally?
S: Great question, Charlene. I feel happy. I think walking around with that resentment and anger always put me on edge. I was stressed thinking about going home to my family. I was tense around people I wanted to forgive and at night I felt all these awful feelings of my pain over and over. I would think on what pain has been caused to me and I would put myself back in those feelings which just pushed me away from the people I cared about more. Learning to forgive has made my days easier. I’ve been able to go about my day without that grief or pain and I think that’s the most important part of forgiveness. Remember forgiveness is a gift for you, not for others.
C: It was a pleasure interviewing you, Sierra! Before we end our conversation, I wanted to ask, where can our lovely audiences find you?
S: Thanks for asking! Anyone can find my work on the LYF blog and newsletter or reach out through Instagram @Sierra.jz