I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. In truth, I’ve been thinking how liberating it is. For years I harbored resentment towards someone in my life for hurting me. I’m not even certain they knew I felt that way. Probably not. Several years back I decided to forgive this person. There was no need to tell them, I was the only one who needed to know. Hatred, resentment, jealousy – they’re like dark storm clouds crowding your heart . Those emotions eventually spill over until it’s visible to even yourself ; the hard set of your jaw, thin set of your lips and the furrowed brow. Gulp! Where did that cranky looking woman in the mirror come from? Forgiveness is the clean springlike breeze that blows it all away and allows the sunshine in. Once I made the decision to forgive and let it go, I felt lighter and happier than I’d felt in a long time.
In M.L. Stedman’s book “The Light Between Oceans”, the character Frank is asked by his wife how he can be so cheerful and forgiving. He says to her, “Oh but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting, you only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things. I would have to make a list… and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a proper job of hating, too: very Teutonic!” I can’t tell you how many times I read that paragraph. It resonated with me so much that I grabbed my pen and wrote it in my journal. Now, when I’m wrestling with my ability to forgive AND forget, I remember that passage and it helps me.
By making the decision to forgive that person, I’ve come to see them in a new light. I love them, I enjoy them, and they’re someone I look forward to talking with. The person who was most blessed by forgiveness was me.