Thursday, September 05, 2013

Choosing to forgive

For some time now, I have been carrying around some unnecessary baggage. There are a couple of people from my past who have hurt me, one person in a VERY big way, and I have spent so much time and energy being angry at them and hating them. Most of all, I have been unable to forgive them. One person did apologize to me at the time things went bad, but at that time, I was too angry to forgive her. I was just so hurt and it was hard to deal with.

And I had carried that baggage with me ever since. And I keep asking myself, why? Why is it so hard for me to forgive these people? I have forgiven my father for wrongs in the past – though he probably doesn’t know it since we don’t talk. (I hope someday to change that.) So why can’t I forgive these two people?

First, the question: Why is it a big deal whether or not I forgive them? I think it is a big deal because carrying that stuff around is like carrying around unnecessary weight – baggage, really. It’s like a weight on my shoulders. “These people did me wrong." “I have these memories haunting me.” “I have this pain in my heart.”

And it got to be too much. All that anger and hatred and AVOIDANCE. It was just too exhausting for me to keep carrying it. It was a real burden.

Every time I was asked if I have forgiven everyone of wrongdoing, I would always answer, “I’m working on it.”

And I know that forgiveness is a big deal because God is willing to forgive ME of my mistakes and my sins. I think I should extend the same courtesy to the people I share this world with. We are all connected, on a spiritual level. I truly believe this. So I think it’s important to be able to forgive. Nobody is perfect. We are ALL human. And humans make mistakes.

So, you know, I think I should try to find it within myself to forgive. To just let it all go. Drop that baggage, wipe the slate clean and start over.

That is what I chose to do today. I no longer want to carry around that baggage, that weight. I no longer want these past grievances to be in my present, or even in my future. I don’t want them around anymore. So the best way to get rid of those painful memories is to make peace with them, make peace with the people involved, and move past them.

I am going to forgive. I am going to forgive and forget – and, by doing so, push away EVERYTHING those two people did to me and just focus on the here and now. I will not be a member of the “hate club” anymore. I am going to be a member of the “forgiveness club.” Whether or not a person involved in something or another will forgive me too is entirely up to them, but I am going to forgive.

So I let those two people know that I am forgiving them. I let them know that I am wiping the slate clean and welcoming their friendship again. I don't know yet where we will go from here, but at least it's a start.

And you know what? I feel a whole lot better after I did that today. I feel that weight off of my shoulders and I feel happier. It’s a great thing to forgive. I think I’ll be doing it more often.

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