Forgiveness is for your own benefit, not those who offend you. When we hold onto past wrongs against us, they eat away at our happiness and distract us from moving forward. By holding onto the wish for revenge, for them to get what they deserve, we give them power over us. Forgive those who offend you and take away their power over you.
When you don’t forgive and maybe even seek revenge, you give power to the person who offended you and the people around you suffer your depression or ill temper. Not only is that not fair to your loved ones, you are allowing someone else to steal your happiness.
Have you ever been in pain, physical or emotional, and lashed out against someone who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Take the time to walk around to the other side and see where that person was coming from. See if you might be able to find empathy and let that take you on the path to forgiveness.
Don’t forget what happened or how it made you feel. Sometimes you need to remember the pain in order to help you find forgiveness and peace. This doesn’t mean you condone or agree with their actions. It means you can find forgiveness in order to regain your power.
“When you don’t forgive, it’s like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.” – From Bad Blood, Holding on by Clay Scroggins.
Seek forgiveness by finding empathy. Take the time to walk around to the other person’s side. Look to understand why they did what they did. As I said before, it’s not to agree with them or condone their actions but to understand how they may have acted out of their own hurt or sadness. Could it be that they had no real intent to cause you pain or harm? I like to believe most of us don’t intentionally set out to hurt others.
I’ll use an example of when my son died. We noticed that good friends of ours didn’t come to the funeral. We were offended that they wouldn’t take the time in our darkest hour. These aren’t things I dwell on but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel hurt. I could only assume there must have been something going on in their life that prevented them coming. Imagine my surprise, five years later, when I was having a beer with my friend and he told me they didn’t know my son had passed until after the funeral was over. He was upset that no one had told him. I didn’t tell him either. Now who needed forgiveness?
By giving forgiveness to others, we free ourselves to move forward with our lives. Holding onto thoughts of revenge, we let ourselves be stuck in the past.
What will you choose? The choice is yours to make.
Make it a great day,
What are you thankful for today?