“But do you know what that son-of-a-bitch did!”
What they did is unforgivable! She is a bitch!! He is an ass!! And so it goes.
Let’s face it. It can be very difficult to forgive. It’s a challenge. It’s intimidating. After all, justice must be served and the guilty must pay!! Unfortunately, the one who pays the most is the “unforgiver”.
Resentment is so disempowering! It is an “I am a victim” attitude that can be very heavy. It’s a lot to carry around each day. Talk about psychic luggage! Until you drop it all, you’ve got to carry it everywhere you go. Your subconscious forgets nothing. You’re holding it in your sleep, when you are alone with your thoughts and every time you talk to someone. And sometimes, your repressed resentment comes out inappropriately and it gets targeted at some innocent by-stander. “Shut up!!!!” Just kidding….
Think of it though. In this wild tv, twitter, facebook, mass media world of ours, when we feel like we are losing control of our lives, when our problems and needs are not being served, it feels somewhat soothing to blame others. And it may be justified, but it doesn’t solve anything for the blamer.
Forgive yourself. Free yourself!
Be sure, we all have awesome reasons to not forgive. Justified? Maybe. Fun? Hell no!. “Sometimes we think that forgiveness equates forgetting, diminishing, or condoning the misdeed, but it really doesn’t. It has much more to do with freeing ourselves from its hold.” The Meaning and Power of Forgiveness By Alex Pattakos
And there in lies the key to the whole matter. Life has enough challenges as it is without self-inflicted injuries, and ultimately that is what resentment is.
“Forgiveness is really an act of letting go, releasing the anger, the hatred, the bitterness, the thoughts of revenge that we have been carrying around. ……….. Taking all the anger and hatred that is standing in your way and replacing it with love is the most healing thing you can do. Fill your soul with love, rather than anger and so many things will change in your life. None of us needs revenge, but we all need love. It is all we really have to give away.” Wayne Dyer
For the resentful unforgiver, this may be the most difficult concept to digest. Be sure, the unforgiven does not see things the way you do. They have their own spin on things. So, no matter how angry the unforgiver may be, no matter how many pins one sticks in the voodoo doll, the unforgiver is left holding those heavy bags.
All You Need is Love
Some humans can do awful things, but if holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl can forgive, perhaps each of us has the potential to do so as well. He recalled working in the harsh conditions of the Nazi concentration camps, and wrote:
“Between what happens and how we respond there is a space …. our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
And sometimes we have to forgive ourselves. This can be the most difficult forgiveness of all. Regrets can wear you down. It’s difficult and sometimes feels silly or clumsy, but we need to love ourselves. It might be easier for women than men in our society where women are sensitive flowers and men are big strong ex-cavemen. Things are evolving though. Loving yourself does not have to be selfish. It does not have to mean being weak or “having” at the expense of others.
Loving yourself does not mean you get to eat all the pizza. Well if you want to hide in the closet and wolf it all down, go head, but loving yourself is not about selfishness, more about being self-able …..My grandmother would have done anything for her grandchildren. She was generous, kind and one helluva a cook, making many a grand feast for us all. I remember I saw her once inhaling a quick snack before serving the family. She saw my quizzical look, and then in a simple matter-of-fact Eastern European manner she said, “I can’t serve others when I’m hungry.” Love and forgiveness are much the same. We hunger for them, and if we do not have them ourselves, it is difficult to give them to others.
Meditation, a heart that is willing to let go to love and cues in your home decor can help. Consider “forgiveness wall art”. Hey that’s my plug, ha ha….
I guess being right is fun, but being happy is more fun, no?