As the year comes to a close, it is a good thing to look back and reflect on how the year has gone.
Forgiveness is one thing we need to reflect on. There has been offense from friends or family members and you tell yourself you have forgiven them.
Here are some scenarios
- When you think about what happened, you are still angry. I sometimes rehearse how I could have responded to a situation, because I am still dwelling on the issue in my head and heart. I know there and then that I have not truly forgiven.
- You find yourself discussing the incident of almost ten years ago as if it happened today. I have heard a lot of people talk and hold on to how their parents treated them as kids. Their parents have most likely forgotten or not even known they offended their child(ren). Instead, the child grows up harboring thoughts of resentment and unforgiveness.
- When you find yourself refusing to be friends with anyone who loves them, you have not truly forgiven. I call it witchcraft campaign. It is when you decide to create enmity because you and a certain person are not in good terms. Imagine going to an event and you decide to avoid certain people because you have a clash with someone they love dearly. You will be the uncomfortable one in the room.
- When the attempts to make things right is met with your rejection, you have not truly forgiven. It is because you have maybe justified anger, it may be pride or betrayal. Maybe you need more time to process the conflict. Any or more of these reasons means that you have not forgiven.
Check your heart.
Have you truly forgiven that person?
Do you know what it means to forgive a person.
If you can forgive, you are a powerful person.
Revenge is for the weak-minded person.
Forgiveness means you are willing to move forward. It unties the cords that tie you to the offense that was committed against you. It sets you free. Imagine being bound with huge ropes to a container. You can’t move and it is uncomfortable. It is what unforgiveness feels like. You are the one suffering. The person who tied you up is not suffering. Forgiveness is for you. It is not for the other person.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B Smedes
We always say other people are toxic, we may be the toxic one. When you hold on to unforgiveness, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Isn’t that toxic thinking?
It is exhausting carrying baggage from your past into your future. Your journey does not need the baggage of unforgiveness to where you are going. Leave it at the bus stop of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a choice you make every day. It is not a onetime event. The reason why is that the offense will come back to your mind again, you have the choice to let go or hold on. It is a commitment. People process forgiveness differently. For some it is sooner than for others.
A good way to look at it is putting yourself as the offender asking for forgiveness. It hurts when you ask for forgiveness and it is met with rejection. There is so much beauty in life every day to look forward to.
When you hold on to the pain from the past, you actually hinder yourself from seeing beauty in a new day and new situations. You hold yourself at ransom that only you can pay. You can’t free yourself if you don’t pay the ransom. Forgiveness is the ransom.
If you want to love. Forgiveness will always be a constant. If you can’t forgive, you can’t love. While forgiving other people, also know that you have to forgive yourself too.
Forgive yourself for mistakes you made out of ignorance.
Forgive yourself for hurting other people.
Forgive yourself for holding onto weights and things you should have released a long time ago.
In this might, you need to learn to forgive, not because the other person deserves happiness, but because you deserve peace.