Sunday, April 18, 2010


Forgiveness is something I have struggled with since I was a child. Growing up as a Fundamentalist Christian, I was always told I had to forgive, but no one told me how. I would beg God to help me forgive, but the hatred would still remain in my heart.

Many years ago, I started reading Louise Hay and she had many forgiveness exercises, many of which helped. But the one thing that she said that stuck with me was that you only have to be willing to forgive and it will come. I held on to that, and there have been several miracles in my life around that lately.

But I have also been thinking and reading a lot these last few months. I feel like this has been a good period of growth for me. Here are a few thoughts I have had lately around forgiveness that have really helped me.

Most of the time I find myself unable to forgive it is because I think "my" sister, husband, friend... should not have treated me that way. I have taken it personally. When you remove the "my" from the equation it is easier to overcome a transgression.

When I view them as just a person instead of a person in my life that I somehow want to control to my liking, the "transgression" seems lesser.

You do not have to maintain a toxic relationship with anyone. In fact, I think it's better if you don't. Close the door to that part of your life. But don't give that person power over you by holding on to a resentment about them.

Release the relationship from your life. View them as simply another person. You may still judge their action as "wrong" but it won't hurt in the same way if it is not a wrong that was committed against you. It is just a wrong. And, perhaps you will be able to see their side a little better.

I remember a woman speaking at church several months ago about forgiveness and specifically turning the other cheek. Her interpretation was not literal. She saw it as turning the other way to see the other person's side of things.

One of the Madea movies also had a good quote about forgiveness (although I haven't been able to remember or google which one it was!). It goes something like will know you have forgiven someone when you have an opportunity to get even with them and you don't take it.

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