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Forgiveness Sets You Free #WednesdayWisdom

I saw something on Pinterest yesterday that really jumped out at me. It said “Forgive them even if they’re not sorry”. It seems I needed the reminder. It’s difficult though…forgiving someone can sometimes feel like defeat, especially if the offending party has no remorse for whatever it is that they’ve done or said (or NOT done or said). However, the truth of the matter is, you don’t forgive for the sake of others…you forgive for the sake of yourself.

Sometimes it’s an exercise in compassion (See Giles Quote from the Buffy-verse below). If you take the time to learn the reasons or circumstances that have led the person to behave or act in a certain manner…if you can at least see the situation from their point of view, it may not change your opinion about the terribleness of said deed, but if you can at least understand what brought them to that course of action, it is easier to forgive them and let it go.

To forgive is an act of compassion…it’s not done because people deserve it, it’s done because they need it.”

RUPERT GILES, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Grudges do not serve those who hold them, they poison the soul. They take hold and breed distrust and insecurities about ourselves and others.  Seriously, who the hell needs that?!?! Nobody says you have to stay friends, or in a relationship, or talk to whomever it is that hurt you…deciding that has nothing to do with forgiveness, that’s a separate matter. Forgiving them lightens the burden on your soul, thus allowing you to continue on and lead a happy life.

Think of it this way: Forgiveness doesn’t excuse what’s been done. Forgiveness prevents what’s been done from destroying your heart & soul.

This also applies to yourself. Did you totally screw something up? Lie to someone? Make a bad choice? Flub up a presentation or project? Well, guess what? I know you’re awesome and everything, but here’s a little secret: You’re also human. Aaaaand Now, I’m hearing Human League in my head: “I’m only human. Of flesh and blood I’m made. Human….born to make mistakes”. It’s sappy 80’s cheese, but I LOVE IT! Besides, they make a hugely valid point. We all make mistakes, so why dwell on them?

Forgiveness doesn’t mean being a doormat….because who says you have to hate someone forever?? Hopefully nobody, because that doesn’t do anybody any good.

I’ll leave you with this…a couple years ago I watched a talk His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama gave that was streamed live via the internet (don’t you just LOVE technology???). Anyway, during this talk, he said that  forgiveness is not to accept the wrongdoing of others….and that retaining feelings of anger, hatred and stress do more harm to YOU than they do to those you are harboring them towards. Then he defined what forgiveness really is, and that definition will be my final word on the subject (for today, at least).

Dalai Lama Defines Forgiveness #WednesdayWisdom