Forgiveness is a tricky thing. You don’t want to be taken advantage of. You don’t want people to walk all over you. So the tendency is to hold onto things. Hold that grudge. That person was WRONG! They should not have treated me that way! All of these arguments may be true. But what are the consequences of this attitude? Does this attitude make your life better?
In Eastern philosophies, the concept of anger toward someone else is addressed in many different ways. One of my favorite sayings is, “Being angry at someone else is like taking poison and hoping that they will die.” That anger, that resentment, that storm of negative emotions only hurts one person. You. It rarely hurts the other person. Many times, they don’t know or understand your attitude toward them.
Dogs have this down pretty well. They don’t hold grudges. They don’t hold onto anger. If you have a negative reaction to your dog because they have chewed up your great American novel, the next time you enter your house, they are right there with their tail wagging, acting as if you had been gone for a month. They aren’t plotting against you. They don’t wait until you apologize or make amends before they love you again. They just forgive.
Forgiveness isn’t easy sometimes. But the rewards for forgiveness are immense. It makes you a healthier person. It makes your relationships better. If there is someone in your life that you are having trouble forgiving, contact them now and make it right. Lift that weight of anger off of your shoulders and forgive. You’ll be glad you did.