Perhaps one of the hardest things to do is to truly forgive when we feel very betrayed, humiliated, or let-down. However, it is not the offender that we are seeking to make feel better, it is the offended. Forgive and forget? This is a hard thing to do. Even if we manage to forgive someone it is very difficult to forget. We are not made to forget. So what does this means to our emotional and spiritual well-being?
Emotional baggage is a very common thing. It is the hurt in our life that hopefully teaches us forgiveness, how to move on, and learn from the experience. This will make us a better person in the long run. Some people experience more than their share of pain and hurt in their life. However, it is what we choose to do with the hurt that matters most. We can let what others do set the course for the rest of our life. We can let others take away our quality of life and cause us not to be as happy as we deserve to be. The choice is actually up to us.
People come into our life for a reason. Sometimes, they are meant to remain a part of our life and as a result, time with them is a great experience. Other times people that come in are meant to teach us a lesson and then move on. Life is a learning experience and this is why older people realize this more than anyone else. They have been where we are today with their own hurts and issues of forgiveness.
My Dad was an example of what we can do with our hurt and forgiveness. My Dad’s father left the family when Dad was only 3 years old. He moved far away and my Dad never saw him again. His life was hard with only he and his mother. He lived with an older sister and her husband as well as his mother when she could be with him. His mother was live-in help at times and she could not always have my Dad with her. Dad never had a father as a role model. He had much reason to have a life that was filled with hurt and baggage from not forgiving.
Dad had two choices. One was to let his experience ruin his life and blame it on his dad. The other was to be determined to be the best person and dad he could be. With that being said, Dad thankfully, made the decision to be the best person and dad he could be. He could not have done this if he was not able to forgive his dad for the sake of his own life that he had ahead of him. My dad could not have been a better person and dad. He went on to have a great positive influence on many others. His chosen profession was dedicated to helping others.
Revenge is a very destructive thing. When we are seeking revenge on someone we are not forgiving them. We are striving to get even. If we are successful with our plot of revenge, we still have not forgiven that person that has offended us. Without forgiveness, the person that hurt us still has power over us. We still have bottled up emotions whenever thinking about the person. We may even transfer these emotions to the next person that does not deserve it. This is a great danger in not truly forgiving. Relationships will suffer many times causing us to lose people in our life that we truly want to keep.
When we forgive a person, this does not mean we are weak, or admitting the other person was right and we are wrong. This is about taking control of our life once again. Not forgiving will lay in the sub-conscience brain and affect life in other ways. We may begin to suffer from insomnia, and neck, or back pain. Digestive issues may development as well.
When one truly let’s go and forgives, they will feel like a new person. A feeling of energy returning as well as health issues that are related to hurt feelings relieved. We will wonder why it took so long to release emotional baggage that we have been carrying around much sooner. With forgiveness one of the most valuable “life” lessons will be learned.