I often meet people who cannot forgive. Even after many years they keep telling the same old stories about how they have been treated unjustly or how they have been cheated, deceived, belittled, or hurt.
The reasons for resentment can be many, with feelings of disappointment, anger, and even hatred quite common. We are not perfect, so how can we expect others and our relationships with them to be perfect. That’s how life is, we all make mistakes. That’s how we learn and grow.
Sometimes with the best intentions, we make situations worse – we want to help someone but instead increase their suffering. Often we lack the wisdom to really see what actions are required or to understand when to act and when not to.
When you see your own limitations and faults, then it is easier to understand and accept those of others. You can then forgive and let go.
Forgiveness is not only a great act of kindness, but it is also an immense relief – letting go of the past and moving on frees yourself from carrying an unnecessary burden.
If you think about it, the person to whom you’re bearing a grudge may well have completely forgotten about the event, yet you make yourself suffer by remembering or retelling the event to others. Doing that won’t give you some sort of revenge, it only harms you. Not only did you suffer when the event occurred, but you also suffer again each time the event is remembered or retold.
I am not saying we need to forget everything. We remember so that we learn from the past and avoid making similar mistakes in the future. But what I am saying here is about forgiveness, by forgiving others we let go of our anger and resentment. We can even develop gratitude to others for a great lesson learned from a seemingly devastating experience – the opportunity we got to develop forgiveness and compassion.
Thus through forgiveness, we can free ourselves from the torment of negative emotions that imprison us and develop positive qualities. So look ahead and live your life happily. And if you meet those that have caused you harm, open your heart and mind, and be fearless and free.