"A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain."
- Samuel Johnson
In the past we have been hurt and we have been wronged. Some of us have sought revenge and some of us have taken it; but it didn`t change our ill feelings. The hurt and venom toward those who wronged us remained.
Getting well asks us to "forgive and forget." Most of us have trouble with those two things; and you can`t do one without the other.
When we are wronged or violated we pass "judgement" on the wrong doer. If someone doesn`t live up to our expectations, or if someone makes a serious promise and doesn`t keep it, we can be hurt on a physical, mental, or spiritual level. We feel betrayed.
But forgiveness is not all about you forgiving someone "out there." It`s also about you forgiving yourself as an adult, in the here and now, for letting the hurt linger on; for putting up with it; for letting it affect your life.
Forgiveness is about getting release, not relief, from your negative attitudes for staying stuck so long. Your preoccupation with your hurts and violations are what keeps you lonely, blocked, and suffering.
The first and most obvious reason for us to forgive is to stop the inward flow of rancour on ourselves. We are infecting ourselves with poison! Until we are willing to forgive, we continue harming ourselves - not the one who did the wrong.
When you don`t forgive but keep on nursing resentment you give your power away and allow the other person to have control over your well being.
It`s important to realise that the attitude you hold is the force that propels you forward. An attitude of forgiveness keeps you from being mired in the past. As Hannah Arendt puts it " Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom."