Skimming through today’s Metro paper this morning at work, I came across this small, for lack of a better word, blurb in I don’t even know what section:
Forgiveness for You and Others
Written by Natasha Dern, Host of The Buddha Lounge Radio Show
Have you ever felt that someone did something to you, something that hurt you so badly that you could never forgive them? Of course you have. There isn’t a single person on this planet who hasn’t suffered the inappropriate and careless actions of another.
In refusing to forgive old hurts, you live with them in the present.
A part of you may wonder, How can I ever forgive what they did to me? Just remember, forgiveness of the person does not imply permission to abuse or hurt you again but about restoring your own sense of well being and peace.
Lacing up my running shoes for another after work walk (I’m “resting” from running), the word still resonated with me, echoing through my crowded mind. Forgiveness. For-give-ness.
While never much of a issue for me in theory or in practice, the sometimes not so simple act of forgiving those who have trespassed against me has, on more than one occasion, left me with the bitter taste of resentment filling my mouth. I can recall several instances where I’ve been wronged or hurt by the actions of another, given my forgiveness freely, only to have those hurtful, sour-tasting, resentful feelings creep up again later. Perhaps when feeling jealous, envious or even spiteful of that individuals’ interaction with another “Well how come you won’t/never/can’t/etc **insert insignificant thing to be sour over here** with me?”
By holding a grudge I’ve made a conscious decision to live with my sour feelings.
We all get screwed over. That’s a fact.
Oprah and The Color Purple taught me in my childhood that forgiveness isn’t extending an olive branch and then throwing the who-did-what-to-whom back out into the universe at a time that’s convenient for me. The act of forgiveness is letting all those wretched feelings out, and not allowing them to stew into resentments.
As Miss Celie in The Color Purple puts it, so emphatically:
Everything you’ve done to me, already done to you
Those that have done me wrong don’t need me to forgive them and tell them everything is going to be okay. They have to live their life knowing that they’ve hurt someone or done some wrong. And, if they can live with it, really live, without being torn up by guilt. Then, why should I allow their bad behaviour to affect my life?
Peace and Love,