This quote was shared with me, by a friend – thought I’d do the same…
“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. ”
Lewis B. Smedes
And it made me think. We don’t forgive for the benefit of the person being forgiven, but more for our own benefit. Holding on to a negative emotion about someone, is like taking poison yourself, and hoping that it will do away with the other person. It won’t work, and only serves to limit your own life and it’s possibilities.
Hypothetically, if I were to think about someone who has hurt me deeply in the past, and that person hurt me so much that I no longer have them in my life. I might consider them my enemy, and go over the things they did that hurt me so much in the first place. Every time I go over this same old stuff in my head, I’m re-igniting those old feelings of hurt and anger. It’s almost as if I am re-living the experience each time I think about it – as if it is happening again, every single day. Meanwhile, the chances are, the other person has moved on with their life, and you hardly come to their mind. They probably don’t revisit any of the old events as you do, and might even be secretly pleased (if they really are your enemy) that they were able to have that amount of control over you.
How much better would it be if I could forgive them? Certainly it won’t change my relationship with them if they are no longer in my life, but it will change my relationship with myself. It would allow me to be who I can really be, without the limits that anger and hurt can often put on us.
Imagine what your life could be like, if you could forgive someone for your benefit, not theirs, and get in touch if you would like to know how I could help you achieve that.