Understand and use the power of forgiveness
Getting hurt is part of relationships. Lovers, friends, parents, teammates, colleagues, strangers, and sometimes a weird combination of them all. Any human interaction is going to generate differences in opinions, viewpoints, perspectives. So conflict or resistance is almost inevitable, and your perspective will be challenged or countered…and your feelings will be hurt in the process. This is life.
But, so often we hold onto a hurtful comment or act that someone has levelled against us too tightly. We hold on so tight as if someone is unfairly going to steal this hurt from us. We cling on with so much conviction as if the slight will actually serve us in the future. We clutch onto them like the hurts are assets that will give us the high ground in future battles. We act like they are badges to prove that we were righteous or the victim in the instance.
Come on…We need to wake up.
The heaviness we feel is not because these are powerful weapons. No! These things we harbour are heavy because they are a dead-weight to us. The other person could be completely oblivious to you looping your hurt over and over. This is an act of self-sabotage. It is like we are putting weights in your own “backpack” for the journey forward. They are holding us down, keeping the tensions and hurt close to us, and blocking the way forward. Don’t do it to yourself. Lewis B. Smedes put it so well in his quote:
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
Profound and so powerful…
Drop the baggage
Let’s drop the unwanted baggage. Empty the backpack from your relationship hurts. Drop the weights. Come on! We are not scuba diving! (I wish). We are trying to freakin’ fly and those weights are holding you down.
So you don’t have to keep these things around to hold you back. Release them. Let yourself be free and free up the other person in the process. But do free yourself. It will feel like a huge burden will be lifted.
So, who is it that YOU need to forgive? (btw- I have my own list to deal with too). Call them or write to them. Free them, and the result is you will lighten your own life which is the real goal.
“No way!”, “Too hard!”…I can hear the excuses coming through now: “But, you don’t know what they did to me” or “The time just isn’t right at the moment”.
Okay, I didn’t say forgiving was going to be easy. But, I urge you to ask yourself, how long are YOU going to choose to walk around with the extra heaviness in your life? How long are YOU going to choose to keep conflict and hurt close to your heart? Holding on to the hurt is now your choice. Reflect on that for a minute…
Yes, these situations are sensitive and intense and shitty. But, understanding the power of forgiveness may be something that changes your life.
It changed mine. Give it a try.