It is inevitable to feel insulted or hurt on life’s journey. In fact, there is probably not one person over the age of three that has not been hurt multiple times and many even hold resentments against the people that hurt them. You could resent parents, spouses, children, friends, etc. In fact, some people hold grudges for years and years and the negative feelings associated with such slowly brings them down and eats away their insides. Unforgiveness is truly an attitude that will not bring anyone any good.
It was St. Augustine that said, ”Feeling resentment is like drinking poison and hoping that the other person dies. If you hold grudges against someone, it is you who suffers; not them.”
Unforgiveness is a prison
Can you really picture that? You drink poison and hope that the person you are angry with dies? It won’t happen. They will go along merrily in life while you seethe in pain and misery. Many people underestimate the value of forgiveness. Living with bitter feelings, regrets, and resentments can really hold people back emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. The unwillingness to forgive holds people in prison and holds people back from experiencing the positive emotions that we love to experience: Love, joy, and peace.
Forgiveness can give us the strength to let go of the past and be optimistic for the future. We all deal with unhealed wounds from time to time, but forgiveness can free us from the pain associated with those wounds. Forgiveness acts as a healing agent and sets us free from such bondage.
Be quick to forgive
Have you ever met someone who is bound up in pain associated with something or someone from their past? It could be a distraught, angry, and bitter divorcee who cannot forgive a partner or a co-worker who cannot forgive his/her parents for not being emotionally available. You might even tell this person that they ought to forgive, but they refuse to. They do not realize that their unforgiveness is holding them back in various ways. Many opportunities arise in life in which the opportunity to become resentful presents itself, so it is a great idea to decide today that you will be quick to forgive because you value your own well-being.
To walk in freedom, we must learn that forgiveness is not a feeling but a choice. We don’t always feel like forgiving those that hurt us, but in order to walk in freedom we must. Our unforgiveness does not hold that other person back-it holds us back. We feel terrible when we don’t forgive; not the person we hold that unforgiveness against. This is why it is important to unlock the doors of forgiveness in your own life for your own freedom and peace.
Freedom feels good, so coming to understand that resentment and bitterness imprison you is your first step to feeling abundant freedom. Even when a person really hurts and harms you it is important to be able to forgive that person for your sake. It does not justify their hurtful or harmful act, but it releases you from an emotional prison that can bring you down over time.
It is also important to be able to forgive yourself. Mistakes happen in life and you must learn to forgive yourself, learn from your mistakes, and move on. In doing so you will be able to experience a host of positive emotions and live in freedom. Way too many people beat themselves up every day for mistakes they’ve made or the fact that they have hurt others. Know that it is alright to forgive yourself no matter what has happened in the past.
Think of forgiveness like a muscle that you can exercise in order to love more deeply and authentically. When you want to make your muscles stronger, you exercise regularly. In the same way, if you want to deepen your love, forgive regularly. Sometimes forgiveness occurs immediately, but sometimes it is a process, much like grieving. The letting go can be gradual, but as long as you do in fact let go, that wound will be able to heal.
Forgiveness raises your vibrational level and expresses love toward yourself and others.
Take a few moments today to evaluate whether you hold unforgiveness toward anyone and if so, decide to forgive that person and move on- free and joyful.