Why should I forgive someone who was evil to me? How can it help to let something go? Isn’t that like giving up? Why should I let anyone get away with what they did, shouldn’t they be punished? Shouldn’t someone do something about it/them?
Revenge is sweet. So many writers say. No doubt it is. But what can you do if you don’t get a chance at it? Stay bitter? That is a choice. Caroline Myss says, “Forgiveness is your release from the hell of wanting to know what cannot be known and from wanting to see others suffer because they have hurt you.”
She goes on to say, ”Giving up the need to know is one of the most rigorous challenges we can face as humans.” Nothing can be more irritating. We can lie ourselves into a state of denial – oh, it isn’t, wasn’t that bad. I’m really better off now anyway. It’s better for all of us that……
So what to do when the ugly thoughts, feelings come home to roost? How do we square ourselves with this notion of forgiveness. How can we truly forgive without living a lie?
Here we are, wronged, in pain, feeling emotionally, financially destitute, the perpetrator free as a bird. Can we listen to some dribble about love and acceptance and allowing. It’s hard to take sometimes.
So moving on – which is what happens, everything moves on – what are the consequences of letting go? What if we forget for a moment the very real insults that have happened? What if we “turn the other cheek” without an “eye for an eye” moment?
Well that might happen for a minute or two given a great joke or a good movie but for the most part it’ll take a bit of work. That’s what Myss means by “rigorous.” It’s actually a life-changing moment when we appreciate the benefits of forgiveness. It’s the only moment worth living for.
And the method? Well it’s the only thing worth living for, too. It’s love. That’s it. John Lennon, “All You Need Is Love.” So simple, so true, so beautiful. The chemistry of love is one of longevity. The chemistry of resentment is miles of medical records. Better the old vinyl kind now tuned to MP3.
Take this simple (ha ha) exercise: when an angry, resentful thought comes to you, send it love. Send it welcome. Send your heart out to fetch it and bring it in out of the cold. Ask how you guys can work on this together. Yes, together. How can you get on the same side. (you’re on it anyway) see how it goes. It’s a time-tested way to be free.