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Thursday 28 August 2014

Forgiveness is all about letting go

Published 09/10/2012 | 12:40

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ARRYING FEELINGS of resentment and anger can give us some solace in the period immediately following the initial hurt, it strengthens our resolve somewhat, that we won't let ourselves be treated that way again. It helps us to learn that life can be cruel and that we do need to protect ourselves and not be vulnerable. But the longer it goes on, those feelings and emotions become deep-seated and start to consume us. Being unforgiving can lead to a much higher price to be paid; we might start bringing those feelings into every relationship and new experience, we could run the risk of becoming a 'bitter person'; and our lives might become so obsessed with the wrong done in the past, that we can't enjoy the present.

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Forgiveness is all about letting go. I often say to people who feel angry with another person, 'Why are you allowing that person to have such control over you, why are you giving them power over you?' Because basically that's what we're doing when we hold grudges and harbour feelings of anger and resentment - we're allowing the other person to control how we feel. Not only has this person managed to hurt me, now I'm allowing him/her to dictate my emotional state. Why would I give that kind of power to someone who has hurt me? That's a really bad idea. Letting go of all that negative energy enables us to become our true selves - people who are far better than those who have ' trespassed against us', far better than those who have hurt us so badly. When we forgive, we earn the right to be forgiven, we earn the forgiveness and love of God.

There isn't a person alive who hasn't had times in their lives when others have hurt them. It's a part of life, like it or not. Maybe at times we ourselves have been the ones to cause that hurt. The challenge for us is whether or not we can have it in us to forgive, even when forgiveness is completely unwarranted, and maybe not even sought from us. ' To err is human, to forgive divine'. It's easy for God, unfortunately it's not so easy for us humans.

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