“I have learned that life is an adventure in forgiveness. Nothing clutters the soul more than remorse, resentment, recrimination.” ~ Norman Cousins, Head First: The Biology of Hope and the Healing Power of the Human Spirit …
Forgiveness is not something that has to be a bad word. We are all guilty of hurting or doing others wrong to others in some way, shape, or form. Likewise, others, too, have similarly wronged us, sometimes more than once throughout the day. And because much of what we say and do in life is done in carelessness, haste, and ignorance, it is only expected that forgiveness is so often necessary, for if we wish to dwell in peace of mind, body, and spirit, we must be willing to forgive others and accept their forgiveness as well.
I think it is fair to say that the majority of the things we do or say that need forgiveness are not done or said out of anger, or with bad intentions, or even meant to hurt others–they are simply a result of a lapse in judgment or thought. Perhaps I wanted to impress someone, or maybe I just did not take the time to think about the results of my words and actions. In such instances, forgiveness is somewhat trivial, but also often overlooked.
In addition, our humanity leaves us susceptible to moments of weakness–occasions in which the pain, hurt, or harm we have caused someone else was intentional. Here, we often lose our trust in each other and we lose our desire to be a part of each other’s lives. Like an untreated wound, a sort of hate and malice begins to form, to fester, and to grow. In these instances, it is usually a lot more difficult for us to seek or bestow forgiveness. Yet these are the times when the ability to forgive is most important, most necessary. For just like an untreated wound, the lack of forgiveness will harm us completely–mind, body, and soul. It will remain a sore and a malady that we carry around with us that others will see, and that will affect our attitudes and how we treat one another.
Forgiveness is a wonderful and important gift that we can give one another in life. It can be very difficult, true, but nothing that is worthwhile and important is ever easy in life. Life demands that we make sacrifices, and forgiveness of others is a simple thing for us to do. In fact, doing so is one of the easiest ways in which we can improve our lives.
Forgive someone today who has wronged you, and then ask forgiveness of someone whom you have wronged.
Questions to consider:
Why is forgiveness so often so difficult for us to share?
What are some benefits of forgiving others for the perceived wrongs that they have done to us? What are some benefits of accepting the forgiveness that others extend to us?
What are some of the obstacles to forgiveness in your own life?
For further thought:
“Forgiveness is an act of love. As I forgive, I release negative energy that may manifest as resentment or anger. I open the way for something positive to happen. If I feel wronged or annoyed, I release the impulse to judge. The lines of communication remain open, and understanding flows freely. Relationships with family, friends, and colleagues flourish when I act with compassion and easily forgive. I relate to others in harmonious ways. I exercise the same forgiving attitude toward myself. If I have erred, I learn from it and move on.” ~ unattributed, excerpt from the Daily Word