The Power to Forgive

When we forgive someone, we free ourselves. The weight of the world magically falls off of our shoulders. It’s so challenging to do though, isn’t it?

I once held a grudge against someone for three months over something hurtful she said to me. I carried that grudge around like it was my suit of armor. It justified my bitterness. I’d go to sleep at night and allow this grudge to take up refuge in my dreams. I’d wake in the morning and further allow it to accompany me through the day and diminish my spirit. To sum up this span of time – I wasted three good months of my life.

Forgive

To forgive someone is hard.

At that moment of giving in to forgive someone, you feel like you’re selling out. So, you hold tight to your ideals for the sake of standing your ground and you wait for that moment when vindication seeps in and makes you feel good again.

To forgive someone takes time.

I waited three months for this person to apologize for her hurtful words. The apology never arrived. Instead, I was left with nothing more than a dreaded feeling that I had lost a battle and she had won. To forgive her was out of the question.

Then one day I was having lunch with a good friend of mine, complaining about how much worse I felt towards this person still after three long months. My friend placed her fork down, then reached out for my fork and placed mine down, too. She grabbed hold of my hands, stared me straight in the eye and begged me to let go. “Be the better person and forgive her.”

When we forgive, we let go.

The pressure of my three-month burden suddenly suffocated me. I wanted to let go and forgive her.

The weight of carrying around this anger for so long had created such an imbalance, such a burden, such an emotional drain on my soul that suddenly I needed to shed it. I wanted to sleep a full night again. I wanted to wake up feeling light and happy. I wanted my peace back.

The path to forgive is right in front of us.

I spent one whole week writing and rewriting an email to this person trying to find the right words to describe the pain she had caused me, and how I wanted to just move on and forget everything. These drafts grew to the size of a chapter, stretching out for thousands of words. A novel was in full bloom! Every new draft seemed to negate the very thing I was trying to do. I was telling her how wrong she was and how I was going to be the one to set it right. She’d never read this and think, yeah, let’s hug now and be best of friends again.

So, a week later, thousands of words into it, I decided on this instead: “I miss you and I love you.”

I hit send and the weight of the world fell from my shoulders.

I learned that sometimes the best way to show your strength is to be humble with it and allow it to come in as a gentle breeze.

Wishing you the very best,
Suzie Carr, novelist

P.S. I’d love to hear from you. Have you struggled to forgive someone too?

 

8 replies
  1. Angela K-McM
    Angela K-McM says:

    It took me years to forgive my ex. I finally did. Holding grudges really do age a person mentally. However, I realized that forgiving does not mean you have to forget, because I cannot do that.

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Hi Angela, Indeed, to forgive does not mean we ever forget. For my situation, I learned a lot about myself and also about the other person. I take that as my lesson as I move forward in life…forgive, but never forget:) Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  2. Lilly Swansong
    Lilly Swansong says:

    I understand forgiveness, but I believe that it someone cross a line, it is truly unforgiveable. I don’t hold grudges, but this one person in my family will never get forgiveness. I could forgive the name calling, bad mouthing and disrespect, but when this person (an exfamily member) threatened the safety and life of my family is something I cannot ever forgive even IF he apologized. I have forgiven another family member for something I never thought I could, but I know that there are no words that can ever convince me to forgive the person who took away my family’s sense of security. I don’t think about, I don’t dream about and I don’t talk about it. It was the best thing I have ever done cutting him out of my life.

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Hi Lilly, Oh gosh, that must have been horrible to deal with. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I’ve personally never had to deal with something as threatening, and I can’t be certain I’d be able to forgive in that situation either. My situation was more of a hurtful attack on my sense of pride… I’m glad to hear you don’t carry the grudge around with you. That is the key… being able to live with a sense of freedom after someone wrongs us. It sounds like you are able to do that, and I’m happy for you for that. Thanks for sharing:)

      Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Hi Deb, Yes… I believe it is the key. It can be one heck of a difficult key to turn, but once it clicks, we’re free to focus on the brighter things in life.

      Reply
  3. Terri Hoover
    Terri Hoover says:

    I have had a forgiveness issue for an individual for as long as I can remember. Each time I say I have forgiven and moved on something happens to remind me. I do love this individual, but can’t seem to find room to forgive them over and over again. It is like a disease sitting dormant and will suddenly raise it’s head from time to time. Sometimes I don’t even see it coming. I have to keep reminding myself that the forgiveness is for me to move on not them.

    Reply
    • Suzie Carr
      Suzie Carr says:

      Forgiving is so hard. I had my fair share of trials with this. Everyone views life through a different lens, and sometimes these differences are hard to deal with. I’ve found that by holding grudges against people, I suffer.

      Reply

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