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There are people who have wronged you and they know it. There are people who have wronged you but they do not know it. In both cases, you are the one who has experienced wrong done to you and, if you have not made peace with the past, you may likely carry anger and resentment.

You’ve probably heard the expression: Anger is like drinking poison, expecting the other person to die. I’ve also heard it expressed: Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison expecting the other person to die.

So what power do you have to lift this weight and unburden yourself?

Forgiveness. It doesn’t even matter if the other person is willing or able to own his/her part.

The only alternative to forgiveness I can see is the choice to – consciously or unconsciously – continue to suffer.

Instead of thinking of historical examples of wrongs or getting bogged down in whether or not forgiveness is/was a possibility for another, focus on yourself and your own personal experience and whatever weight is currently burdening you. Be honest with yourself. If it comes to mind then you probably have not yet forgiven.

To me, forgiveness yields ultimate freedom and peace. The other person no longer has any claim on you… the greatest beneficiary is the one who forgives! And this act is a choice that its author has all of the power to make.

What do you think about forgiveness? If it's all too theoretical, be brave (braver than myself here) and give an example if you would like;)


Photo courtesy of Sérgio Rola