I ran into someone who claim that there are two “F words” in the English language. While I obviously know one of those “F words,” I believe the other one he referred to is “forgiveness.”Forgiveness is a vulnerable, scary, action. It’s not worth blaming those individuals for keeping that word outside of their vocabulary. Yet, I also felt how liberating forgiveness is once you choose the lifestyle of letting pain go once you confess that life-changing word and pray for your enemies.Every situation is different. Some people make mistakes and are suffering because of them. Others are innocent victims of another person’s actions. I cannot empathize with every reader of this post because I’m on the spectrum (it’s an unfortunate quirk I need to deal with even though Aspergers should not be an excuse). All I can do is share what I’ve experienced, when I’ve entered a peaceful landscape through the gate of forgiveness.Please note that this is a generic post about forgiveness. Please contact a professional counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist if you need help with more painful experiences. I do not have a doctorate in subjects such as counselling or psychology and should not be held responsible for sharing my own experiences here.Green tea may give you a long and fruitful life, but forgiveness is much more effective emotionally and spiritually. It’s amazing what changes in your life when you forgive everybody everything before you go to sleep at night. To kill a grudge you’ve been holding onto, you have to stop nursing it. There’s nothing heavier than a huge chip on your shoulder that causes you to lose balance. When you pray for your enemies, they can’t prey on your heart. This is how I understand why forgiveness is important.
Hating and remembering is not healthy. Forgive and forgetting releases you from one of the heaviest forms of bondage. I found that when I’m full of hate and bitterness, nothing goes right for me. In fact, my prayers aren’t answered when I refuse to forgive someone who lives rent-free in my mind.When Charlene and I first got married, we had a landlord that would try to work on our tiny apartment when we wouldn’t want him to show up. Sometimes, he would arrive at our place at 10 PM when we were in our pajamas. My privacy felt violating. I felt overwhelmed with the unexpected visits. We would demand that he show up earlier but he would still knock on the door right before we were going to bed. We eventually moved out and bought our own house. We decided that we would forgive him for all the issues that he caused us while we lived in his apartment. A few years ago, for some odd reason, he kept calling me again at our new house. We made a conscious choice not to get angry. I texted him and asked why he kept calling us when we moved away from his apartment he charged us rent for. He never replied and eventually we blocked him and changed our phone numbers.Forgiveness is a journey, and there are occasions where I have to take steps to ensure that I’m able to forgive. It’s not easy and sometimes if someone really hurt me severely I DO NOT WANT TO DO IT!!But then I remembered something. Sometimes, the best form of vengeance is to let it go. Forgiveness will not change the past. Turning the other cheek does not forsake justice. Sometimes, you will still have to deal with the past. But letting go of the past can help you grasp the future. Forgiveness may keep those who hurt you from destroying you (I say “MAY” because this doesn’t cover physical abuse). The more I forgave others, the more I build muscle for my character and self-confidence.
It is also important to forgive yourself for what you’ve done. If you don’t forgive yourself, your hold onto false hope for a past you could have had but never exists. Even if you were able to change the past, Back to the Future proves that this form of practice ruins the future. Forgiving yourself releases you from thoughts that you aren’t good enough. It takes the label of evil and deserving damnation away from your spirit. Forgiving yourself releases you from the strength that is found in your weaknesses, quirks, and flaws. Learn to forgive yourself so you’ll have no reason to beat yourself up.
Forgiveness is important because it gives you a clear vision of the future. Praying for your enemies of your past can evict them from your future. Finally, forgiving your enemies allows God to forgive you. Even if you’re not religious and you forgive others, you’ll feel insurance that you deserve forgiveness. If God is willing to forgive us as followers of the way, then who are we to hold out on forgiving others?