Does someone need your forgiveness? Alternatively, worse, do you need to forgive yourself of anything?
Forgiveness is a painful mountain, which most of us resist trying to move, the deed is often too ugly and sometimes it feels almost impossible to forgive. However, those who learn to forgive reap many joyous benefits.
We must recognize that to forgive is to be free in order to empower ourselves. In watching a Hallmark movie the other night, I was reminded of how stupid it is to hold onto resentment. The actress, Betty White, believed that holding resentment would insure her from other people’s hurtfulness. There’s a price we pay for holding resentment and contempt for others in our heart. The lunacy in this thinking made her separate from the brother. She never became acquainted with her sister-in law, or niece. In fact, her resentment was so great that the two families didn’t blend until 30 years later, when both spouses had deceased.
At times, we confuse forgiveness with love and trust. We must learn to forgive but we don’t have to trust that person again until they give us a reason so we can essentially show love to the person, yet not necessarily like them.
There is no benefit to not forgiving someone who has wronged you; the animosity stored up in your heart against them will eventually destroy you. Forgiveness is a reward in and of itself, for the benefits reaped from forgiving also fulfills the requirements for a fruitful, productive, life of self-actualization.