What does forgiveness mean?
What does forgiveness mean to you? When you think of forgiving someone, what do you think you need to do?
Forget about what happened?
Learn to move on?
To forgive, an offence must first to be committed. And if you are indeed offended then you are likely to have been left with some hurt feelings. It is not uncommon for these feelings to fester. Thoughts relating to these feelings will go around in our heads in a negative spiral as we try and make sense of them. Sometimes seeking revenge, sometimes with hateful negative energy, other times being really angry at ourselves for allowing it to happen, perhaps even using foul language to express how we feel about it. We find it difficult to break the negative spiral whenever the thoughts occur.
I read somewhere that holding a grudge against someone is like taking poison and hoping the other person will die. Because resentment and grudges hurt the person holding them more than the person they are held against. The grudge acts as a prison for your peace of mind. It holds you hostage.
Forgiveness on the other hand acts as a release from the prison of grudge.
Let’s be clear - forgiveness is not for the faint hearted. Holding on to your negative energy is not a sign of strength. It makes you stubborn but not strong. And if you accept that then it follows that forgiving is not a sign of weakness. Forgiveness can perhaps even be a self-serving act. The purpose of forgiving is to find peace for yourself. And who do you seek peace for? Yourself. So what’s wrong in thinking of forgiveness as a selfish act.
Forgiveness is also not found in a moment in time when you forgive and life moves on after that. Not for most of us anyway. It does start in a moment, but forgiveness is a process and takes time. Some days you can forgive more than others. The more forgiveness you are able to practice, the easier it gets.
Why should you forgive? Because you deserve better.