I consider myself to be a logical person, so I have explored all of my options. Here they are: resentment, anger, bitterness, blame, hate. Truthfully, I have tried them all on for size. Do you know which one fits best? None of them. They all felt uncomfortable to me. I have seen many lives ruined from not letting go of the hurt people have caused them.
Let’s say you’re in your twenties, thirties or forties. You’ve jumped around from relationship to relationship, you’re broke, rely on medication or alcohol to deal with reality, and you relive all the past hurts inflicted on you. What right did they have to say that to you? How dare they treat you that way! Those many little conversations you have in your brain when you’re all alone. All those feelings of anger, hurt and resentment. Never directed at yourself; always at others. They are the reason you are broke, homeless, divorced, addicted.… So let me ask you: how far has that gotten you? Has it benefited you in any shape or form?
I am going to go out on a limb to say that every family member you know has been hurt at one time or another. Imagine two siblings with the same parents, raised in the same household. One turns out to have a happy life and the other only finds misery. What is the difference? Forgiveness.
This is probably the hardest lesson I have had to learn. To forgive is to grant pardon without harboring resentment. Do you know how hard that is? How many people actually do that? That’s not to say you were not hurt, maybe severely. You may never want to see that person again. But for your own sake, can you forgive and move on?
What if every time you felt anger, resentment, blame, bitterness and hate it cost you $100, and every time you showed forgiveness (even to yourself), you earned $100. How long would it take you to change? Could you change? We all can … it just requires more effort than we are willing to invest. Forgiveness is hard work. It does not come naturally. From this point on, think of forgiveness as the ONLY option.