Of all of the virtues, forgiveness must be one of the hardest to put into practice. Often times, lack of forgiveness or building a shell around yourself is the result of spiritual pride. Our hurt can run so deep and painful that somehow we need to justify them with both anger and hatred against those who caused them. We can come to believe all kinds of untruths and become the spreader of those untruths in order to feel justified. But in fact, we have decided to live in a world where forgiveness does not exist, and we use this justification to promote our own spiritual pride. Most importantly, anger and hatred are the most destructive emotions and actually lead to physical illness as well as a heart never at peace.
If we could let all the anger slip away, hand the hurt, pain and hatred over to the Source of all Light and with forgiveness say: “The burden has become too heavy to manage, I ask you to take it away from me. Help me to forgive those who hurt me, and others. Let me love them and trust them with all my heart and power.” Choosing to do this would make us more centered in our heart and the word around us.
For some of us, that hatred is directed towards God. The loss of one we love, especially an innocent life or a child, leaves us so angry with God that we turn away from Him. With normal grieving anger is always a part of the process, but there comes a time when we must let go of those harmful emotions and rejoice in the good memories we have of the one who is lost to us.
Perhaps we direct the anger inwards due to feeling a certain guilt, unable to forgive ourselves which can lead to depression. There can be things in our past that we feel ashamed of and feel we are unworthy of forgiveness. Forgive yourself, you deserve it and need it to maximize the power of your life.
Forcing yourself to try to like the person who hurts us is not what forgiveness means. Forgiveness is letting it go, releasing the heavy burden of anger, leaving the past behind and looking to a bright new day. This is your time, your day, move on! “Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:2-4 “New American Standard”). Take that scripture passage one step further and forgive whether the sinner repents or not. Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves, challenging us to believe that there is a better future and giving us the inner confidence to know that we will survive the pain and suffering. Faster healing from pain comes when we can let it go and stop allowing it to fester inside like a volcano ready to erupt.
Look, the bottom line is you’re too important to hang onto hurt, distrust, anger, spiritual pride and all the things that keep you from being free flowing, loving and forgiving. Let it go and move on…
P.S. Make it a week of forgiveness. Find someone you have been secretly holding negative lower emotions against, and quietly forgive them and yourself. Then move on with laughter, love and passion.