At some point in our lives, people will do things to hurt us. They may violate our trust by telling our secrets. They may be unfaithful in relationships. They may talk about us when we think they are confidants, or they may violate us in other ways. If we’ve ever been on the receiving end of these things, we may have been deeply wounded, reluctant to trust. We may have built walls around our hearts, vowing we would never allow anything like that to happen to us again. We walk around guarded, keeping our emotions under lock and key.
This may sound logical, but in reality, when we react this way to an offense, we are fostering an environment for the offense to fester and grow. The same walls we use to try to protect ourselves are the walls that destroy us. The same barricades we use to keep others out are the ones that feed the pain.
So how do we free ourselves of this baggage? We must forgive. We must release our feelings of resentment towards the offender. We must release ill thoughts that zap our energy. We must take the high road in order to move forward.
You may wonder how I can suggest forgiveness for someone who hurt you so badly, someone you feel doesn’t deserve your forgiveness; someone you feel has ruined your life. You may argue that I don’t know what they did to you, or what they’ve caused you to lose. If you’re arguing these points, you are correct. However, I do know if you refuse to forgive, you are assisting them in destroying your life.
Refusing to forgive someone damages you more than it does the offender. It keeps you from living life to the fullest. The negativity associated with harboring ill feelings towards another keeps you from experiencing your best.
So break the hold the offender has on your life. Refuse to continue to nurse the wound that needs to be healed. Forgive and watch the healing begin. And remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to give that person an intimate place in your life, it only means you release the negative feelings you have towards him so that the healing process can begin.