Forgiveness has become a growing topic in society as people begin to recognize the benefits. I found a definition on Wikipedia (although not considered a reliable source) that I feel is fantastic. Forgiveness is defined as the renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger caused by a perceived or blatant offense, disagreement, or mistake (Wikipedia, 2012). Forgiveness is giving yourself the freedom to fulfill your purpose. “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free” (Ponder, n.d.). “Forgiveness does not mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong” (Mayo Clinic, 2011); it just releases their power over you and moves you from a victim to a victor.
It saddens me when I see people in a state of unforgiveness that cripples them and leaves them in a non-functional state. It takes more energy to hate someone than it does to forgive them. Why? Every time you see them, you have to relive the hurt and remember the pain they made you feel. However, forgiveness gives a sense of peace and although periodic flashbacks can occur (we are human) it does not overtake you and place you back in victim status.
I was once a victim of my own unforgiveness. Unforgiveness destroyed my self worth leaving me to feel as if I couldn’t be more than what the persons who hurt me broke me down to. I was told I wasn’t good enough, nobody wanted me, God didn’t love me, I was a whore, and I would never succeed and I started to walk those words out. I hated myself and lived my life as if I was nothing because after all if God couldn’t love me, who else could right? It wasn’t until I started the forgiveness process (which included forgiving myself) that I realized that I was worth more than how my perpetrators made me feel. Releasing my bitterness and forgiving people cleared the fog out of my eyes. Forgiveness allowed me to look in the mirror and see that I am beautiful, that I am worth more than a 10 minute fix, that I had value, that my voice does matter, that I am good enough, and the hardest of all to accept was that yes God loves even me. When I began to forgive myself and the people who hurt me it felt like tons of weight was being lifted off my shoulders. My walk changed, my attitude changed, and my mindset changed. Yes I am still a work in progress and yes forgiveness is a continuous process, but the ability to sleep at night and look in the mirror and say “yes you are good enough” is well worth the effort.
I chose to free myself of unforgiveness and let me say the air is so refreshing over here. My question to you today- Is holding unforgiveness worth sacrificing your peace?
Mayo Clinic. (2011). Forgiveness: Letting go of grudges and bitterness. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com
Ponder, C. (n.d). Forgiveness quotes. Retrieved from http://www.thinkexist.com.
Wikipedia. (2012). Forgiveness. Retrieved from http://www.wikipedia.com