Are you a forgiving person?
Do you forgive people who have wronged you and move on with your life or do you hold onto a grudge for a long time?
Are you perhaps even a little too quick to forgive?
Forgiveness can be tricky.
Let’s have a look at some of the different layers of forgiveness.
‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.’ – Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiving someone can be difficult.
It takes a strong person to genuinely forgive. Not to just say they have forgiven someone but to also act as though they have.
If we are feeling insecure or want to please someone we may appear to forgive them to be accommodating or liked, all the while simmering with animosity under the surface. Forgiveness isn’t about being a doormat.
While we offer our forgiveness, trust is sometimes another story. Trust often needs to be regained and that can take time and a show of strength by both parties.
‘Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.’ – Gautama Buddha
There seem to be various versions of this quote but they all have the same meaning.
Staying bitter and holding a grudge only hurts the grudge holder. The only person you are hurting is yourself. Bitterness and resentment slowly eat away at a person sometimes causing them to become physically ill.
Being bitter makes you a hard person to be around. It affects your loved ones and the people in your life but it does not affect the person you are mad at.
Bitterness is something you choose to hang onto.
Learn to release feelings of resentment and anger. Your life will be much happier because of it.
‘To err is human, to forgive, divine.’ – Alexander Pope
Before we get too judgmental of others, we should take a moment to remember – we all make mistakes.
Each and every one of us. None of us are immune. Whether we have wanted to or not we have all wronged people and hurt them in some way.
We not only need to forgive other people but we need to be forgiven ourselves.
The challenge of course is that some people make much bigger mistakes than others. Some acts feel unforgivable and that is where we struggle.
‘When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.’ – Bernard Meltzer
The way I see it forgiveness is fundamentally about letting go of the past and moving forward.
Moving forward is about living in the present and planning for the future. It’s important to remember – the present is where the magic happens.
‘Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.’ – Robert Brault
I believe there is a lot of power in this quote.
People wrong us throughout our lives. Some people hurt us deeply. A lot of the time there is no ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘Please forgive me I never meant to hurt you.’
Often we will never hear those words, there will be no closure.
It is our job and let’s face it in our own best interests to move forward as if we have heard those words. Otherwise we will always be stuck in the past, rerunning old hurtful scenarios, playing painful conversations over and over in our head and reliving the sadness. We often do this with so much detail and intensity that we magnify and add to the original injustice.
‘Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.’ – Marianne Williamson
When you look at what some people have overcome, you realize that people have an amazing capacity for forgiveness.
That capacity should never be under-estimated for ultimately it is what changes the world and makes it a better place.
‘Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.’ – Suzanne Somers
Often the person we most need to forgive is ourselves. We can be forgiving to other people yet fill our own lives with guilt and self-loathing for our own mistakes and flaws (actual or otherwise).
Don’t just be kind to other people, be kind to yourself. Offer yourself the gift of forgiveness. You are worth it. You deserve it.
‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.’ – Lewis B. Smedes
A common misconception with forgiveness is that by forgiving the person you are validating whatever treatment they dished out to you.
This is definitely not the case. It’s about releasing the past. You can forgive a person yet still decide not to have them as part of your life. Forgiveness is often about letting them go.
‘The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.’ – Marianne Williamson
I couldn’t agree more with this one. Love and understanding are important, yet forgiveness and starting over with new outlook seems to be the key to many of the problems we face on a global and local scale.
I am definitely not saying it would be easy. The fact remains however that someone has to start somewhere for anyone to move forward.
‘One forgives to the degree that one loves.’ – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
I am not really sure why I chose to include this quote. Probably because it made me think – really think.
How deeply do you love? How freely do you forgive?
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