Forgiveness (vs. Bitterness)

Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge

To practice Forgiveness I will:

  • be quick to forgive
  • not cover up my own wrongs but will be quick to ask for forgiveness
  • not seek revenge
  • respond kindly to those who hurt me
  • not take up offenses for others

Did you know that many snakebites are actually from dead snakes? People assume that the decapitated heads are safe to touch but they are as dangerous as a live snake. The same goes for harboring a hurt. Without forgiveness, you can still be bitten by the sting of bitter memories. Forgiveness for deep hurts is often a journey rather than an event. We may make the decision to forgive but then we need to work through our emotions until we can feel empathy and compassion for that person. Forgiveness does not require remorse on the part of the offender. It is a gift. It can result in reconciliation with the offender but reconciliation is not required. Offering forgiveness only requires one person. What about the reverse of asking for forgiveness, of apologizing? When we offer sincere and heartfelt apologies, it allows the one we have hurt to see us differently. They can now feel empathy and compassion towards us allowing them to move toward forgiveness. Forgiveness and apology – it does not matter which comes first to arrive at the same conclusion

This month, the focus is on asking for and granting forgiveness.

“Doing an injury puts you below your enemy; Revenging one makes you but even with him; Forgiving it sets you above him. ”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned. ”
– Budda

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