Sometimes the hardest thing to do in life is to forgive. Whether we are forgiving family, friends, or ourself, it can be very challenging. Moving on, forging through life, things will happen, we all make mistakes. Sometimes small, sometimes huge, mistakes will happen to everyone. It is the challenge of forgiving and moving on that can either hold us back, or release us into our future. One of my favorite quotes that I have come across through the years about forgiveness:
I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. —Henry Ward Beecher
True forgiveness is not easy. We must put aside our pride to achieve it, look through the anger and hurt, whether directed at someone or ourself, realize the flaws, accept, and move on. This can be the greatest challenge in any relationship. If we do not forgive, it will fester inside of us, turning us against those that we love, as well as against ourselves. Many people choose not to forgive out of fear, a solid, inescapable feeling of dread and insecurity which forces a person to cling to the anger and the grudge. This fear will not allow us to forgive, to set ourself, as much as the other person, free from being trapped into such misery. Are grudges worth that? Are they worth letting our lives be controlled by a mistake that someone made, holding us back from being happy? Another question to think about: Why do we want to stand in the way of our own happiness? Why would we hold ourself back in such a way?
Moving through life we will always face obstacles, mistakes, wrong choices, people we don’t like, but these people should not hold us back from forgiving. Forgive yourself for having flaws and not being perfect.
Will you forgive yourself? To me, that is the hardest.