FORGIVENESS is a hard word for many people, and an even harder act. The very use of the word “forgive” or “forgiveness” cause people to tense up, to get angry and to go to a dark place of remembrance of an event(s) or a person(s) who caused them great pain. I have no doubt that forgiveness is hard…like asking the impossible sometimes, but what I do know for sure, is that the act of forgiving another brings a great sense of freedom to the one who forgives. I recall being angry at a family member for many years. That anger clouded my judgement and stole my joy for a long time, as we, who refuse to forgive, continue to replay the events in our minds over and over again, even at the most unexpected times. Some of us even speak about it incessantly, to the point that our loved ones get frustrated with us. However, one day I just decided that I couldn’t keep hurting myself anymore and I needed to let this go. What a glorious moment that was when I made peace with my transgressor…..blessed relief. It was as if a heavy load had been taken away from me. I became a happier person. I was no longer sitting in judgment of someone else. I have since learnt that forgiveness is not for the one who has wronged you, but it is for yourself, so that you can be free to move on to a better place in your life, free maybe to love again or to live again or to feel joy again, free to be energized again, free to heal yourself. Marianne Williamson, author of “The gift of Change”, says it well when she says, “the fact that I forgive you doesn’t mean you “won”. It doesn’t mean you “got away with something.” It simply means I’m free to go back to the light, reclaim my inner peace, and stay there.” Forgiveness is for you, so go ahead and be big enough to say, “I forgive you.” Your life will change for the better.
Here’s what some very wise people had to say about forgiveness.
The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is an attribute of the strong….Mahatma Gandhi
To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover the prisoner was you…Unknown
I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note–torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. — Henry Ward Beecher
Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much…Oscar Wildes
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it…Mark Twain