It's hard to forgive, because to forgive is to let go. Letting go of my resentment, bitterness, outrage, fury, indignation. I tell myself that I have the right to be upset. My boundaries have been violated. I need to stick up for myself. It’s a good thing that I’m expressing rather than suppressing my feelings. How dare anyone treat me like that? These sentiments stew and evolve and I experience grief and torment.
The situation that hurt me is no longer current, yet I offer a generous space in my head and my heart to these negative thoughts and feelings. By harboring feelings of resentment and despair, I am hurting myself. When I am in this place, I shut out positive opportunities and interactions. I am less likely to reach out to another, less likely to accept help or feel gratitude. This negativity grows like mold and creeps into cracks and crevices deep inside me. It takes over my entire being, my mind, my spirit, my soul.
I recognize and validate my hurt. I have been wronged by another. This experience is a stumbling block that can bring me to my knees. This experience is a stepping stone from which I can learn and grow. Choosing to retain my stronghold on this pain is me inflicting pain upon myself. Choosing to forgive gives me the ability to rise above the situation. To experience it without emotion and judgment. To recognize the many lessons I still need to learn.
Forgiveness does not deny, excuse or tolerate the wrongs. Forgiveness is my gift to myself. I remove the shackles that bind me. I allow myself to let go and create space for the joy in my life. I no longer hold on to something that does not serve me.
It’s the season of forgiving. Asking for forgiveness. Praying for forgiveness. Offering forgiveness. Accepting forgiveness.
To tapping into the strength and courage necessary to forgive,