A Perspective on Forgiveness

‘Some things are unforgivable.’ For some this view is deep-rooted and will be hard to change. After all, the emotional and/or physical pain which results from an action by someone you trusted, but who has betrayed such trust, are not easily healed. This is, admittedly, a normal, logical and justifiable human perspective to take. The saying ‘who feels it knows it’ is all too true for those who have experienced, endured and sometimes miraculously survived acts of betrayal or any of a number of untold hurt. For such persons, who can blame them for holding such a view?

For such persons, it is understandable that they view extending forgiveness to be a case of ‘giving someone something they do not deserve.’ And that can be totally understandable because, let’s face it: the nature of some actions (or even words) directed against us can make them excruciatingly painful to experience and could be deemed ‘unforgivable’ to even the most forgiving of persons!

However, choosing not to forgive is really a case of us choosing to prolong the hurting, by holding on to the pain we experienced. Over time, we will find that we are actually hurting ourselves more than we are hurting the person who did us wrong, and whom we find it so very hard to forgive.

It may sound contradictory, but choosing to forgive someone who has wronged us is actually a real case of giving OURSELVES what we deserve. Choosing to forgive empowers us to move on and releases us from the deadly poison that would otherwise have been festering inside us. Yes – choosing to forgive is choosing freedom from the anger and the pain, disappointment, or even fear, that we otherwise continue to experience.

This is not to suggest that forgiveness is easy! On the contrary, it is because it is so difficult that we have so many cases of people carrying out acts of violence in the name of revenge, that for others will appear so out of character; some, even years later! This is why some persons have chosen to destroy their own lives just for the ‘satisfaction’ of seeing someone pay for what they did. This is why for some, trusting others becomes nearly impossible.

The irony about forgiveness is that with forgiveness it is the giver, rather than the recipient, who benefits most. So go ahead and DARE to forgive someone today. YOU deserve it and you might just find it to be an act of administering well-deserved healing, while also being beautifully liberating.

Photo Credit: Kathy DeGraw