We have all been hurt by the things others have said or done (notice I didn’t include “to me/us” at the end of that sentence).* Very often, we say or do things that are inconsiderate or hurtful to the other party. Sometimes, we commit an offense by failing to do what we need to. Whether intentional or not, our actions, or lack of, can cause considerable suffering to another.
How often are you willing to forgive the imperfections of others? Do you choose to let go of past offenses or do you hold on to your anger? Are you understanding of their weaknesses or do you hold them hostage to their bad behavior? Have you ever sought revenge or chosen to “get even” for what they’ve said or done?
Many don’t realize that forgiveness is a choice. It is a conscious decision to be understanding of another,s imperfections. Each of us has inflicted pain on another: we lash out in anger or fail to be patient when necessary; we take advantage of another,s generous spirit rather than show them appreciation; we are disrespectful or argumentative instead of honoring each individual and their opinions.
Forgiveness does not release one from being held accountable for an offense. Rather, it recognizes that each of us behaves poorly at times because we are all imperfect. Forgiveness is a choice I make for my own well-being. It is not contingent upon whether or not the other admits to any wrongdoing or if they even apologize. To hold on to anger long after the offense has been committed only hurts me. It holds me hostage to the past and inhibits me from fully enjoying the present.
Twenty years ago I fell and broke my elbow. I remember the circumstances of the fall and the intense pain I experienced. The bone gradually healed and I regained full use of my arm. There is not more pain. Forgiveness is the spiritual equivalent to healing a physical injury: I remember the event but I no longer feel the anger, bitterness or resentment. All negative emotions have healed. I am free to experience the joy and wonder of living in the moment.
While it is not wise to “forgive and forget” (to forget carries the risk of the offense repeating itself), forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love. Forgiveness is the path to inner peace and when you have inner peace you have it all.
Watch a very powerful 3 minute video on forgiveness @ www.FromGodWithLove.net.
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