Back in April, one of my friends was having an awful time. Her living situation had turned sour– her roommates were teaming up against her and she was miserable being in the house. My best friend and I took her to lunch one day and she was venting, she was deeply depressed and completely overwhelmed by the emotions. She asked us: “How would you deal with this? What do I do?”
I responded to her: “Forgive them.”
It is truly incredible how life-changing it can be to forgive those that have wronged you. When you refuse to hold hatred or disdain in your heart, when you turn away from the idea of holding a grudge, you have succeeded in obtaining a moment of enlightenment. Being able to find true forgiveness in your heart for someone that has wronged you is like discovering instances of clarity.
Forgiveness is not always effortless, there are some wrongdoings that may have left you scarred. Butthe act of forgiveness is not to benefit the wrongdoer, it is to benefit your soul. Every time you cease to forgive, it is like a drop of acid added to your soul, making you bitter and spiteful. Everything that reminds you of the wrongdoer generates negative emotions. But forgiveness is like a cure for that acid that is in your soul, eventually returning it to a healthy state.
Although you have forgiven the wrongdoer, you must be stand vigilant in protecting yourself from them in the future. Forgiveness does not symbolize weakness or exploitable vulnerability, it makes you strong.
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that prisoner was you” -Lewis B. Smedes
What are your experiences with finding forgiveness?
You wrote: “although you have forgiven the wrongdoer, you must be stand vigilant in protecting yourself from them in the future”- in my experience it is not a good idea to stick around a person who requires that I keep vigilant in their company.
It is not congruent with mental well-being to be in a state of ongoing vigilance when it is unnecessary. In other words, it is a better choice to remove oneself from certain individuals than it is to forgive them and stay in their presence.
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