Friday, March 13, 2009

Thoughts on Forgiveness

I’m a forgiving person. I truly am. I have always pride myself on it–“forgive and forget” was always my motto.

But then those things happen in your life that are not so easy to overcome. Forgiveness is all of the sudden a commodity that is difficult to come by and it’s no longer so easy to give. Hollow words of forgiveness just taste bitter in your mouth; and even after you utter those precious words “I forgive you”, you still feel anger and sadness.

Wrapped up in racing thoughts, a knot in your throat that can’t come undone. The hurt and disappointment is simply overwhelming. You are so sad that you think at any moment you may break down and cry. The feelings toward someone that has wronged you are so strong that you can barely breath. All those negative thoughts are running through heart and head. Immediately a finger needs to be pointed and an apology demanded. Not until that has happened, those difficult words “I forgive you” can be uttered.

I once read that not forgiving is like you taking the poison and expect the other person to die. It will consume you and all you will be able to think of is how to get back at that person, to retaliate, to make them feel as miserable as you feel. In the end you are wasting your emotions and energy on a situation that will not get better, but only worse.

Lack of forgiveness has brought so much anxiety to my life, so I have decided to not wait for people in my life to ask for it, but rather extend the olive branch and offer forgiveness. It’s unsolicited, not requested, and possibly not even mutual.

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