Annie Lamont said “Forgiveness is letting go of all hope of a better past.”
To forgive is a blessing you can bestow upon yourself, at the time of your choosing. You need not deprive yourself of the blessing any longer.
Forgiveness is not a validation of another party, the other person, the external entity that you hold to blame for a “wrong” heaped upon you or done to you. Forgiveness is simply a realization and willingness to recognize that your happiness, well-being, and constructive present and future are far more important than reliving the past and continuing to give that someone else the power to make us angry, to feel hurt, or to see ourselves as victims of a wrong.
You want to get back at your “doer of wrong”? Remove the power you give/gave them to make you hold onto the past, the dirty deed, the ill-intent, the evil, or stupidity they thrust upon us.
Living well is the best revenge and living without resentment, anger, fear, and hate is the way to live best. Does it mean you have to agree with your knuckle-headed wrong-doer? No. Does it mean you have to condone your victimizer? Absolutely not. Does it mean they were right and you were wrong? Hell no. It simply means you care more about yourself and your opinion than you care about them or their past actions.
Over the years, I’ve had my share of “being wronged”, at least in my mind and my opinion. I’ve been incredibly angry—jump-up-and-down and red-faced crazy about it at times. Sometimes I acted to “even the score”, almost always it never removed the anger. In fact usually I regretted my action, resented my lack of self-control, and completely despised the fact I allowed the actions of others to dictate or at least strongly influence my rage, connivance, or negative obsessions. Fortunately, I’ve left most of these emotions behind long ago and the ones I still have are confined within the boundaries of new found experience and expanded resources.
In the coming months of 2008, one of my deepest and most dear commitments to myself is not only to let go of any lingering resentments, remaining feelings of being wronged, or deeply recessed fantasies of “getting back” at anyone who I felt has done me dirty, hurt my feelings, disrespected me, or treated my unjustly. Most effective and preventative, is to evaluate actions, individuals, and events more positively so I don’t have to release anything, I simply make a better, more productive and healthy choice as a gift and self-bestowed blessing to myself.
Where does one start?
First, forgive yourself for perhaps not having been totally forgiving in the past. Next think of all the people you, can, should, and will forgive as your gift to yourself and for the rejuvenating relinquishment of any power you surrendered to them to affect your present state and frame of mind for something they did in the past.
Perhaps they will be poorer for it and you certainly will be infinitely richer and more rewarded in your wealth of forgiveness.