Tiers of Forgiveness
“The moisture of our tears encourages a blanket of softness to grow over the rocks of resentment which, over time, cleanses and dissolves the hardness. Over time, we become able to forgive others.
Softness continues to expand, hardness continues to melt. Over time, we are even able to forgive ourselves.”
Why is it important to try to forgive? Perhaps the main reason is to achieve freedom from the anger and resentment that we feel toward one who has wronged us. This is not achieved because we condone what the other did, nor is that advocated. Forgiveness is more about us and the effect our continued resentment is having on us.
Resentment and anger are exhausting. They suck the very spirit out of us, preventing us from experiencing unencumbered joy and peace. We continue with tension, tight muscles, a churning stomach, high blood pressure…
Given that our energy is used in such a manner, why do we continue? Often, it is because we feel justified, feel that the misery created is our badge to be worn, to display to the world that we have had a hard time and that is what has made us what we are. Unfortunately, this belief keeps us in the victim role, often feeling sorry for ourselves. This is detrimental to our very spirit. It is draining for those around us.
How can we try to forgive? It is helpful to do a self-appraisal, to look at one’s own responses in a similar situation. Sometimes, we may realize we are doing the very thing for which we are angry. When we can realize this, we are able to have compassion for ourselves, which then leads to compassion for the other person. We are able to see them as fallible human beings, perhaps in acute emotional pain. Armed with compassion, forgiveness happens. The rocks of resentment melt.
This takes time and is not an overnight matter. The process begins with feeling the pain of the offense, admitting how hurtful it was to us. In other words, we need to acknowledge the detrimental feelings. We need to grieve any loss associated with this, such as the loss of a happy marriage, a happy childhood. This process is more effective if one elects sobriety over a habit of numbing one’s feelings with alcohol.
What do we gain when we try to forgive? We discover a joy and peace such as we have never known, a knowingness inside that all is well. We can let down our guard and, in so doing, we experience deeper relationships with others. We heal and we grow.
Do you need to try to forgive someone? How is that working for you?