Forgiveness. It’s a concept we all know we should extend to others, but it’s easier said than done. Today we discover how we can find freedom through forgiveness.
When I used to think forgiving others, I always had a picture of what it would be like. First, the person would think about how they had wronged me. Second, they would make some grand gesture in a form of an apology and thus make everything okay in our relationship again. Sounds simple enough, right?
I laugh at myself as I write that, knowing that this fairy tale version I had in my head is so wrong. You see, forgiveness isn’t actually about the other person. Forgiveness is a decision you have to make for yourself—a decision to let go of your grudges and choose freedom and love over anger. To choose peace over pain. To choose the relationship over one small grudge. Oddly enough, once you decide to make the decision of forgiveness, the relationship usually starts to get better.
This isn’t a new concept. Since the beginning of time humans have hurt one another. But we’ve all got a choice to either keep holding onto the grudge we’ve been carrying—that self-justified anger that weighs us down and keeps a detailed list of how the other person has wronged us—or to let it go, moving our pride aside and deciding the relationship is worth fighting for by giving our forgiveness.
Here’s the thing: I read somewhere that holding onto a grudge is kind of like holding onto a cactus. It keeps others away from you and it keeps pain inside of you. This really stuck with me. It doesn’t matter if someone else handed you the cactus. It’s your responsibility to put it down.
In a lot of situations, most people don’t even know that they have hurt you. What you consider offensive may be considered normal by someone else so it may hurt you but they do not know that.
It is better to take it upon yourself and let go. Forgive them. If you are the kind of person that needs closure, just sit them down and politely let them know they hurt you. How that person reacts is simply a reflection of the kind of person they are. Make peace with it and move on.
Ask: What grudges are you holding on to? How might you let go of your grudge and choose forgiveness instead?
To Your Health.