The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive. – Marianne Williamson
If you could see me as I am writing this, you would be looking at a previous World Champion of Grudge-Holders. Oh, I do come by it honestly. You see, I am a human being, a person just like you, and as such, I tend to cling to complaints, seize slights, and take tabs on transgressions. I have since become better (I think) at letting go of the perceived wrongdoings of others, but only after I came around to asking others to forgive me. Yes, you read that right. I had to first ask forgiveness for my own faults before I could truly begin to forgive those who had hurt me, whether these “crimes” against me were committed knowingly or unknowingly.
I have a wonderful friend, a very classy lady indeed. At one time, early in our relationship, I developed a tremendous jealousy, not about her as a friend, but of her as a competitor. She is absolutely beautiful, she can sing like an angel, she can dance with elegance, she can write songs, plays, and prose. She has an adoring husband and a spectacular home. She had the whole enchilada, and I had a cheese taco. One day, and I cannot tell you the catalyst or cause, I knew that I needed to confess my feelings to her, and I needed to do it that day! After choir practice that evening at church, I ran to catch up to her in the parking lot. I revealed my enviousness to her, and asked her to forgive me for my bitter attitude. She replied that she had no idea that I ever felt anything like this resentment, and she forgave me. She forgave me! It was as if a mammoth millstone had been removed from my mind. Today, we are even better friends. She is still beautiful, graceful, and elegant, and I am still me – and I am forgiven.
Sometimes, we are called to forgive a wrong done to us knowingly by another.
Sometimes, we are called to forgive a wrong done to us of which the culprit is unaware.
Sometimes, we are called to ask for forgiveness for something we have done.
Sometimes, we are called to ask for forgiveness for something we have done of which the victim is unaware.
Sometimes, we are called to forgive ourselves.
Most of us need time to work through pain and loss. We can find all manner of reasons for postponing forgiveness. One of these reasons is waiting for the wrongdoers to repent before we forgive them. Yet such a delay causes us to forfeit the peace and happiness that could be ours. – James E. Faust
Your history is history. How you react to it can make you better or it can make you bitter. The future is up to you – what is your choice?