One of the hardest lessons I've learned within the past two years deals with forgiveness. Sometimes, family can hurt you worse than any enemy and the effects can tear you apart at the core. I will be the first to admit that, in the past, if you crossed me, regardless of if you are family or not, I would cut you off. I'd treat you as if you no longer existed; no calls, no conversations, no visits, no speaking, no texts, no social media, no family events, nothing. It didn't matter to me that the Bible says in Matthew 6:14 says 'For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.' My pain, hurt, and feeling of betrayal clouded my judgment and hardened my heart.
It's how I coped. The way I dealt with pain. Rather than do or say something to hurt the other party the way they had hurt me or deal with the pain in a more sensible way, I withdraw myself from them and the situation until I've allowed my wound to not heal, but form a hard and sticky crust. What does allowing a sore to fester really do? I continue to hurt, they continue to live life and absolutely nothing gets resolved. Thank God for forgiveness, grace and mercy, wisdom and understanding. If not for fervent prayers, seeking God's face and asking for His guidance, I wouldn't be at the place that I am today.
Forgiveness is not for the other person, it's for you. You're the one holding all your feelings inside, bottled up, stewing and ready to boil over. Instead of facing it head on and allowing the other person to redeem themselves, you allow the wounds to fester and never heal. Believe me, I've been cut to the core but eventually, I had to come to the realization that holding a grudge will not only continue to cause me pain but will send me straight to hell. My soul's salvation is not worth holding something against someones so, why not forgive them and let it go.
Forgiving is cleansing. It cleans the soul and gives each person a refreshing start. It is an essential part of life. We have all done something to upset someone else, to hurt them, to cause them pain, or give them a reason to never look our way again and, if we're honest, it felt good when they accepted our apology and forgave. Forgiveness is free. It doesn't cost a penny and it can be the very thing needed to renew a relationship. If there is one thing I've learned in my short 37 years, people will be people. You have to take them at face value. They will be who they will be. You just have to be cautious in your dealings and expect that, being the perfectly imperfect beings that we are, something is bound to go wrong, someone is bound to get their feelings hurt and mistakes are bound to be made. No matter what, we have to be sure to learn the lesson we should take away from the situation.
Forgive, let go and let God handle the rest. In order to grow, prosper and continue to elevate to the next level, we must forgive those who have done us wrong. Grudges are the equivalent of baggage that will only weigh down your soul and prevent you from soaring high. Release the baggage, stop holding the grudge, let the hurt and pain heal and watch some amazing things happen in your life. In the words of Indira Gandhi, "Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave." It takes heart to forgive and start again. If you don't take anything away from this post, always remember this: I've wasted so much time in my life holding grudges and being mad at people, who probably had no idea why I was upset in the first place. I've forgiven them and taken back the piece of my soul they've taken away. Forgiving people is not only good for you, it's essential to your survival.