Alexander Pope said, “to err is human, to forgive divine.”
I first heard this saying from my mother when I was growing up. I didn’t realize how important it was until I was much older. Ah, with age comes wisdom…thankfully.
Are you holding a grudge? The truth is we all make mistakes and holding a grudge is not only silly and useless, it can be harmful.
I’m sure you’ve heard astounding stories about a murder victim’s parents forgiving the murderer and you might wonder ‘how do they do that’? How do you forgive someone for taking what’s most precious from you? These astounding forgiveness stories have a common theme. All the forgivers say they felt stuck in never-ending pain and loss. That they couldn’t move out of the pain of the past until they came to some level of forgiveness in the present.
Simply put, forgiveness is healing and moves your life forward.
Holding a grudge simply masks the hurt of the perceived “wrongdoing.” Sadly, it only really has impact on you since the perceived wrongdoer seldom realizes you even have these feelings (nor can they do anything about them). What’s more, living in denial or holding on to your self-righteous anger, resentment, pride, and judgment likely keeps you from the very thing you want most – happy, loving and lasting professional and personal relationships.
Do I sound unsympathetic? On the contrary I have compassion for you and your perception of the “offense.” I understand. I also know that love, acceptance and forgiveness feel better than judgment, pride and resentment. Love, or at least acceptance (non-judgment) is your natural state of being and feeling anger, resentment, fear and other harsh feelings can be brutally debilitating, all because of a story of perceived wrong you have going on in your head.
How do you forgive what seems like an unforgivable act? You have to be willing to look at your own part in the play, which is often the hardest part. Sometimes it means admitting, “I was wrong” without choking on those words. Other times you may feel you have nothing to forgive. That’s fine, but sometimes just taking the perspective of “this person was just doing the best they knew how” (acceptance) is enough to move out of the resentment or judgment of the past.
Here’s what I know for a fact. After watching my partner die a horrible death from cancer I know that every moment counts and every moment needs to be the best it can be. I know that these perceived “wrongs” or misunderstandings are never as bad, intentional, or unforgivable as it may feel in the moment or even upon reflection and that its just a story you have running around your head. You CAN pick a new and healthier story to live in your head. You CAN choose to stop blaming others and take responsibility for your direction.
The Hawaiians have a beautiful forgiveness process called Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono means to make things “right” inside because they know the value of working together and working from love rather than anger and resentment.
If you’ve been hanging on to these old stories, resentments and anger then I invite you to choose a better way by downloading my FREE Ho’oponopono meditation. I believe it is so important that I made the meditation available to everyone on my website. Just click any of the links and download your way to the kind of successful relationships you truly want.