He said you can’t forgive unconditionally.

I told someone recently that I wanted to practice forgiveness but wanted to do it quietly with nothing in return.  The response I got was “That’s nice but not realistic.”  I don’t believe that analysis – it seems negative and short-sighted.  We can and should be able to forgive with no strings attached.

Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. These wounds leave lasting feelings of anger and bitterness.  I get that.  But it seems to me that the only thing we can take with us when we leave is love.  And if we can’t find forgiveness for someone, we can’t leave with love … instead we leave with anger. I believe that those who hang on to that anger are the ones who pay most dearly.

Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended us might always remain a part of our lives, but forgiveness can lessen that anger grip and help us focus on other more positive parts of our lives – with or without the person who hurt us. Forgiveness can lead to feelings of compassion and understanding for the one who hurt us.  It lets us move forward with our lives without the energy-sapping emotion of anger.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act.

Look, there’s no question that it is easier to hang on to hurt rather than open up to love and trust.  And, if we allow those negative feelings to crowd out our positive feelings, we can get consumed with our own bitterness and sense of injustice.

Forgiveness is a decision to change our internal feelings.  It is an active (and can be quiet) way of releasing the power and control that the other person has over our life.

I want to work on this.  To forgive unconditionally – without something in return.  Once we stop defining our life by the hurt, we can begin to define it by the positive and loving part of our existence.

What could be better than that?

Have a wonderful day!

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