Forgiveness can be a tough pill to swallow, but swallow it you must. There are many books written about this topic. Pam has a chapter in her book, The Decision to CHANGE, dedicated to forgiveness. It’s an important topic.
When you are harboring anger, bitterness, and/or hatred inside yourself, it can literally eat you up. Okay, not in the literal fashion of bites being taken out of you, but in the toll it takes on your body physically and mentally. The effects are very similar to those of stress. It is stressful, after all, to maintain anger, bitterness, and/or hatred.
Some of you may have heard the phrase, “Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” When you are unforgiving, unless you are outright rude to the person, they may not even know that you still have hard feelings towards them, so they are going on with their life and you are still stewing in your juices, on a low boil. SO, who are you hurting… them or you?
If you want to be able to forgive someone, don’t make it about them, what they did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say. This is about you feeling better. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean what they did was okay, it means you are no longer going to let it eat you up. It means you are going to let it go, not continue to bring it up, not continue to remember the time, you are ready to move past it. Does that mean you are going to be best buddies again? Sometimes, but not always.
If you had a strong foundation with this person you can find the time to calmly talk it out. Perhaps the other person will apologize, maybe you will, or maybe you’ll agree to disagree and move past it together, continuing, from that point on in the relationship. If you did not have a strong relationship with this person, don’t feel the need to start one. It’s okay to forgive and walk away.
The point of it all is to get yourself healthy, stop drinking that poison of unforgiveness. When you can “let it go…let it go…” (insert theme from Disney’s Frozen – grin) you will find that you can breathe easier, sleep better, and smile more. Isn’t that a better way to go through life?