a lesson in forgiveness


A lesson in forgiveness

It’s something we often find hard to do, or maybe even forget to do, but can unwittingly affect us for the rest of our lives.

The not-so-simple act of forgiveness.

It could be anything from a family feud to heartbreak or from a sibling squabble to a disagreement at work. Holding onto anger and pain is poisonous and the only person it damages is the person holding those feelings, rather than the person who caused the pain. That’s why we don’t forgive, isn’t it? Because we have been hurt by someone or something and we choose to hold onto the pain and not to let go due to feeling that person doesn’t deserve to be forgiven.

But what do you gain from that? How does that help you move on? How does that help you enjoy future experiences by allowing previous ones to still hurt you? What good can that negative energy do you?

There are relatively few extremely evil people in this world whose life intention is set out to cause others discomfort. In life many of us make mistakes, and the majority of us learn a hard lesson from those. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you are condoning their behaviour, or making room for it to happen again: it’s releasing yourself from the restrictions it had over you.

Walking in the bush the other day with my two bushies C pushed E over, she hurt herself and cried. I made him apologise, which he did without meaning it. She sulked for a few minutes and then continued to skip along beside him, giving him a shove now and again. I was amazed at how quickly her tears dried up and she let that go. I doubt he meant to really hurt her, or even injure her. And she got over it pretty quickly, moved on and enjoyed the rest of our walk.

Forgiveness can come in all shapes and sizes. I recently let go of something much much bigger than C & E’s afternoon fall out. Once I felt forgiveness, the clouds began to part, and something was released inside and out. I realised, to my horror, that I had let those feelings of anger poison any other feelings surrounding that. And not just that either. I sat down and thought about all the wrong doings I had received in the past and all the people who had pissed me off or worse: done something that had resulted in me no longer enjoying a memory of something, or cutting someone out of my life due to a stubborn intention to no let them ‘get away with it’. I asked myself what good that had done me and realised that the only person that had affected was me. The doer of those actions probably got over it long ago.

I don’t sit here on my blogging high horse suggesting that we all rapidly forgive anyone who steps out of line, breaks the law or intentionally disrupts your life. I only write to suggest that we all take a lesson in forgiveness. That we ask ourselves if holding onto pain helps us heal and move on. And that we take a lesson from the innocence of two children: forgive, let go, move on. Learn what hurts you: avoid it. But don’t hurt yourself by living in pain caused by others.

About graceeliz

Many years ago I met someone who said: "Don't know what you want to do with your life? Teach English as a foreign language, then you can travel the world. Best thing I've ever done!" That got me thinking. Research was done. Course booked in Barcelona. Certificate gained. 5 years living in Barcelona working as an English teacher. Done! Where to next? Check out my blog! 5 years in Barcelona, 6 months in Slovakia, 2 years in Australia... and now I am home in Somerset. We'll see if I can stop the itch in my feet...

Posted on August 26, 2012, in My "other" Journey and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Here here. As in the case of so many people that carry the burden of resentment against a parent their whole lives, blaming them for all their ensuing misfortunes or weakness. The day they let go and forgive accepting that parent was also a product of an upbringing that may have left them with little or poor skills for bringing up a child, well, that day can be a weight from their shoulders and very liberating moving forward with forgiveness and love.

  2. Well said, Grace 🙂 and it’s not just about forgiving others, it’s about forgiving ourselves too xxx

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