Forgiveness. Wait a minute, it’s not Easter, we’re looking at Thanksgiving. The season to be thankful for what we have (and to watch football and eat turkey). Well forgiveness may not be the most popular topic talked about around Thanksgiving. However, one can not be truly thankful when holding a grudge.
Some believe that if we forgive someone it is as if we have let them off the hook and they have got away with something. This is not true. We forgive people for our own sake. Carrying around unforgiveness is unhealthy for our bodies and minds, all it does is ruin our lives. It is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. It is the one with the unforgiveness that suffers not the other person.
When you forgive someone it doesn’t mean you forget what happened and now trust this person. Instead you learn from what happened and are able to look back on it without the presence of the pain or trauma.
Depending on the circumstances, forgiving someone can be easy or may seem almost impossible. Forgiveness is a process and sometimes involves a journey to get there. I once heard it explained like this:
Picture having a stick (this is whatever it is you are needing to forgive) and then throwing it into a stream (the act of forgiving someone). Even though you let the stick go, you decide to walk down the stream next to it. Sooner or latter you grab the stick back out of the stream. After holding it for a while, you drop it back into the stream again. Once again you continue to walk next to it. As you journey down the stream you keep grabbing the stick again and again, each time deciding to drop it only to find yourself holding it again. However, the length of time you hold the stick for gets less and less and it starts to be in the stream more than it is in your hand. One day you are able to stop walking next to the stick, instead you watch it go down stream and out of sight.
So have patience with yourself in the process. Or in other words, forgive yourself if you find that you are once again holding the stick. Don’t beat yourself with it because you grabbed it again, instead realize your carrying it and that okay because it is part of the process. Just make sure you drop it again.
Practice forgiveness today?