Topic #159: Why is it so hard to forgive?
This topic was virtually right on time with a conversation I was holding with someone that I have grown very fond of. The question was about how to deal with a friend avoidance after some money exchanged hands. My advice was to let it go and move on leaving that person in behind. I was once told faithful in small, faithful in all, clearly this did not apply in this situation. They failed the faithful in small!
Talking about forgiveness is a lot more common than actually forgiving. That’s because true forgiveness is something that is done with body, mind and spirit, and it’s not easy. I know I have struggled mightily in the past, present and probably will in the future with this. The main reason it is so hard to forgive is that most people don’t know how to release anger in healthy ways. It is also hard to forgive because you might think you’re letter the other person off the hook by forgiving them. How many times have you heard “It’s the principle of the matter”? But actually forgiving is for you not the other person. When we fail to forgive we hold past grievances against future innocents. This is a primary reason most relationships fail because baggage that should have been checked at the gate was allowed to continue on.
Many people think that the act of forgiving is condoning the other person’s actions.In fact you are not. Forgiving is simply a matter of letting go of anger and resentment and allowing your own emotion and physical situation to evolve. When you refuse to forgive you might feel like you’re punishing the other person, when in fact you’re only punishing yourself. True forgiveness is hard because it means letting go, relaxing and moving on. As difficult as that is, it is the most important thing you can do. Most people like to live in the past. We are a species whose past mold our future and because we cannot predict the future, our past condemns us if we cannot let go of it.
The only way to end this post is with the best quote I know on the matter. It has taken me many years and hardships to find this out. But forgiveness is truly a freeing event.
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” – Catherine Ponder