The Richness of Forgiveness

It takes a lot of energy to dislike someone. When we are hurt, we’re often quick to allow our judgements and momentary reactions be our only reality. This makes room for anger, resentment and other such feelings. It may seem otherwise, but harbouring resentment is an exhausting effort. In this state, we exert a huge amount of energy toward the other person, place or thing.

When it comes to forgiveness, it’s not important what someone has done to you. There is no act so dire that it cannot be forgiven. Forgiveness releases you from the shackles of resentment. Forgiveness does not justify the actions of someone, rather it’s like letting go of a heap of baggage that you simply don’t need.

In a healthy relationship, we invest our energy and receive it in a similar fashion from our friends/family or otherwise. However in a relationship where there is resentment, the resentful one is left feeling drained over time. The energy given toward the resented person isn’t being returned. Resentment is like a defence mechanism that helps us feel temporarily safe; we resent others as a way of invalidating their behaviour, which allows us to feel better/right/more deserving in the short term, but this won’t pay off in the long run!

We all strive for happiness in this world. Nobody is out to harm us, even if it may not seem that way. Our tendency is to take things that happen to us personally, yet we need not think in this manner. How one acts toward you is merely an expression of their own relationship with themselves. A little compassion can go a long way!

Think about a time when you “acted out” toward someone in your life. It might have been because something wasn’t happening the way you wanted. The way you acted in such a state has nothing to do with the people around you, rather it’s a reflection of how you’re currently feeling about your own situation; fearful, angry or insecure. 

Forgiveness is a selfish act, and there is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves! It makes the world a better place, and lightens the load which we carry through life.

David Boland