To Forgive or Not to Forgive?

Life is short.  Life is precious.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve hit a certain age and that all sinks in but I’d tell anyone who is holding onto grudges, is bitter, or unforgiving to take a hard look at yourself.  Being ugly only hurts yourself.  Not forgiving someone for their shortcomings is just laughable because we’ve all done wrong and we all need to be forgiven.  Being stubborn, not forgiving someone else for a mistake they have made is only hurting yourself.  It’s like slowly poisoning yourself.  The person you are upset with moves on to greener pastures and learns to get over it but holding onto hate makes you rot from the inside.  It’s hard on your heart and makes you miserable.  So, even though you are directing all your hatred and anger at someone else, the only person you are actually hurting is yourself.

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Not to sound like a Bible banger but in the Lord’s Prayer, he clearly states, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us”.  Try to see the bigger picture.  If we want to be forgiven for our sins, we need to forgive others for hurting us.  How can we ask God to forgive us for our sins if we cannot and will not forgive our brother, our sister, our friend, our mother, etc.?  It’s really that simple.

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None of us are perfect but the pain someone else can cause us can blind us to the road to heal.  Forgiveness.  Some say, “I will forgive, but I’ll never forget”.  I say you forgive and forget.  That doesn’t mean you need to be a doormat.  There are some people in our lives that are toxic and need to be removed, that’s just a natural part of life.  If someone is not good for your health and well-being, then they must go but you CAN forgive and move on and possibly even take responsibility for your own part in it.  People only treat us the way we allow them to.

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I’ve been through so much in my life.  I’ve been burned and burned down so many bridges to exhaustion.  I wish I had this knowledge long ago ~ it would have spared me a lot of pain and heartache.  I believe these people, these DIFFICULT people are put into our lives for a reason.  I love the quote, “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime”.  When I look back on all of my bad experiences with people, even close friends/family that were negative, I took something away from it.  I learned a lot about myself and I learned my value in this world.  I learned that I do not deserve to be treated in a bad way and the next person that came along and tried the same got a much different reaction from me from the start.  It was a “red flag” that went up and my gut instinct was “NO.”  Not now, not ever again.  It spared me from additional pain.  All of a sudden, I wasn’t willing to accept average treatment to myself from others.  I expected more and now find myself surrounded with only the best kind of family and friends.

I don’t hate, I don’t blame, I don’t harbor any ill will.  I am thankful that I learned that lesson.  Some I was able to forgive and completely wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start by setting up new ground rules.  Those friendships I cherish the most because we made it through the storm and have a rich history.

Everyone is going through something that we cannot even begin to wrap our heads around.  Give people a break and try to remember that you are not perfect.  You may think you come pretty close, but I guarantee that you are not, and not even close.  We are all just human and need love. Love and forgiveness is key.

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5 thoughts on “To Forgive or Not to Forgive?

  1. There is nothing to gain from a hardened heart. I have been thinking a lot about this subject so your post has hit a soft spot. We forgive, especially as Christians it is a cornerstone of our faith. Most humans seem to lose sight of one key factor in forgiving. We do not forgive others to let them off the hook, but for ourselves, to heal and move on.

    1. Tru dat. As I get older I see what an awful waste of time it is to not let things go. It’s just where I am in my life. I don’t expect everyone to be on board but it just makes sense to me. The anger has slipped away from me and for that I’m grateful. I wish everyone could have this peace.

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