Nelson Mandela once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
We have all, at some point in our lives, felt like we could never forgive someone for what they have done to us or someone we care about. Things like; a parent constantly criticized you growing up, a colleague sabotaged a project, a friend betrayed you (crossed the line) or your partner had an affair. Or maybe you've had a traumatic experience, such as being physically or emotionally abused by someone close to you. These wounds leave us with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness and sometimes vengeance. Usually, the first step to take is cutting the individual off and moving on. But does that bring you peace? You are probably thinking “yes” but it is a “no” for me. And before you say anything, hear me out. You cannot move on from someone and what they have done to you if you don’t forgive them. I’m saying this because I have been there.
Forgiveness means different things to different people. Generally, however, it involves a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you or making up with the person who caused the harm. Forgiveness is something that doesn’t come lightly for anyone. For some, it takes just a kind gesture and an apology. For others, it takes time, patience and a lesson learned. And there are some of us that can’t get over the past and will forever find hatred in our hearts for the ones that have done us wrong. While forgiveness may seem like the last thing on our mind when we are angry, it may be the best thing for us.
Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life. Our anger, regret, hatred, or resentment towards someone means that we are giving that person a power over us. The person who may have hurt you or caused your frustration does not need to know you forgave them; you do not have to do it face to face. It can be done privately; by journaling, praying, texting ‘’I forgave you’’ to the person, or whatever else that works for you. Just find a way to forgive and move past the pain in your own way.
“At the end of the day, forgiveness is really not for the other person’s benefit at all — it’s for our own. Regardless of how illogical it may seem at times, it is through unconditional forgiveness that we surrender the past to the past and enter the present, freeing ourselves to stand in the infinite Light that knows how to heal our deepest and most painful wounds,” says author Dennis Merritt Jones.
Remember this is about YOU. Don’t let hate become that black cloud that you carry around, instead let your load become a little lighter by forgiving and letting go because your peace of mind is more important.
Blider: John Arvid Johnsen
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Winnie Tenne Cooper
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