53. Forgive

Forgiving someone often comes down to swallowing our own ego. Do we pull back all the things that we’ve said? Do we want to take the chance in letting someone hurt us again?

Once scarred, we develop an almost permanent spiteful image of a person. Every time we think of that person, memories of how that person hurt us flashes in our head. No matter how nice people say about that person, all you can think of is how much pain he or she brought to you.

Sometimes we don’t even remember why or how we dislike someone. It just feels like we’re giving away too much to let that resentment go. To let go of the punishment and power we have over someone.

But the thing is, people make mistakes and change. That’s just the nature of being a human. They never hurt you for the purpose of hurting you. It could be an act of protecting their own interests or values. But never with the deliberate intention of harming you. Unless they are a sadist or psychotic, people don’t take pleasure in hurting other people.

If you are on bad terms with someone, take a step back and understand the root cause. Put yourself in their shoes and understand why they did what they did. You can’t change the past but you can always draw a line under it. Focus on who they are now. Forgive them. If not for them, do it for yourself. Your mind will thank you for it.