Forgiveness

“The things two people do to each other they remember. If they stay together, it’s not because they forget; it’s because they forgive.”

“I have learned that sometimes “sorry” is not enough. Sometimes you actually have to change.” Anonymous

“Forgiveness brings inner peace. Do we have a deal?” Melissa

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Forgiving is not forgetting. It’s letting go of the hurt.” Kathy

We always hear how difficult it is to say the words, “I am sorry.” I would agree that admitting blame of any kind takes courage and strength. No one should question how tough it is to do. Most of us perhaps never forgive every one of every perceived wrong-doing towards us. It likely is human nature to hold onto a grudge. With time one sometimes manages to come forth and ask for repentance.

The person who has been injured at one time or another may wonder why the one at fault doesn’t appear to be contrite right after the incident. They may also question how little the transgressor thought about what they had done. Most of the reviewing at least in the beginning of a conflict, appears to come from the person that got hurt. Perhaps the pain reaches the heart and soul a lot quicker and leads one to reflect on the reasons a bit more.

At some future time, perhaps when one has experienced a similar transgression one is reminded of the similar occurrence in the past in which they were at the receiving end of the heartache rather than the doer. I suppose we can split hairs regarding who received more or less pain in any confrontation. The important thing to acknowledge is that enlightenment is beginning to occur. Becoming more informed allows one to look at a happening with a different lens. We are receiving a brand new angle to the issue. Moments like these cause one to reverse their thinking and possibly attempt a reconciliation with the one they had originally maltreated. This can result in needed transformation.

This is the perfect thing to happen. Both parties reconciling reduces tension and brings in lots of love. I am all for resolving issues between people. I believe it is almost perfect in the making except for the fact that injured people also must be recognized for their strength and courage in offering forgiveness. No one ever seems to think the one saying “Oh that’s okay,” has had to be mighty brave and compassionate to be willing to exonerate and reconcile with the erring individual.

Of course no one is ever totally right or wrong in any argument or fight and there are perhaps numerous variables to the dilemma. Still the one who ultimately and obviously does the most damage is the person left needing to apologize.

Nevertheless the injured party is still left with the task of absolving the person who maltreated them. I don’t know about others but most people appear to discuss the courage of the party who apologized. No attention is given to the pained individual, who had the ability to absolve the one who hurt them. I assume now that it must take tremendous strength of character to bring oneself to the state of mind to accomplish such a huge task.

When we are deeply hurt it resonates without and although time heals the wound we are left with a hard veneer. The longer the time between the occurrence and the apology, the thicker and stronger the covering. Lots of times many of us revisit the hurt and sometimes relive the pain. I remember enduring situations regarding health problems within the family which left me wounded. Even when the healing process was over, I continued to endure the suffering for years later whenever I recalled the event. Many people endure emotional pain brought on by the carelessness of others or differences leading to disagreements.

One can appreciate that there may not have been a need for an apology from anyone in the health dilemma, but the recovery process was similar. The pain of any wound is tough to repair. The emotional wounds and scars we endure throughout our lifetimes can be debilitating. When these wounds are caused by another person’s words choices or actions one lives with the thoughtlessness for a long time. How joyful it is to receive an expression of contrition. It is likely more commendable to appreciate how awesome the person is, who is willing to forgive. Just because someone says sorry does not necessarily make another suffering person willing to forgive.

Just because we forgive someone, does not ever mean we can forget. The pain is ingrained and impossible to scrap or wash off. Of course the forgiveness allows us to go forward, renew an impaired relationship and lift a tremendous burden from another’s shoulders. We also lift a lot of stress and anxiety from our own shoulders. All around forgiveness is so mindful yet many times downgraded in what it can accomplish. Even those times when another took our words or actions in a way we never intended, we can still repent and alleviate the pain to them.

One should never assume a person finds it so easy to forgive. If one has ever had to do it, they know how hard it is. Sometimes you can feel as if they are getting off easy with a simple few words of regret. Both parties have a lot to endure in a giving and receiving situation. Both parties also have a lot to gain. Releasing the worry we have carried around for possibly a long time, gives us more energy and courage to move onward with our lives. It is an uplifting kind of energy. Releasing pain and blame leaves room for light, happiness and growth. After all we have come to realize the extent of pain one person can deliver to another. Perhaps it makes us a worthier individual who becomes more mindful of others. It definitely changes the sparring people for the better.

“Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.” Anonymous

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person’s throat……Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established………Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation………Forgiveness does not excuse anything………You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness……” Wm. Paul Young

Originally published at pamreynolds.me on October 26, 2015.

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