Much like gravity, there are some rules in this world that can’t be denied! The power to forgive is one of life’s most powerful abilities.
In my short but long 30 years of life, learning to forgive other people has not always been easy. Quotes like: Tit for tat, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and other phrases a said by many people daily. Getting a revenge or getting someone back, these kinds of things feel great in the moment. When something bites you and you scratch that itch though it feels divine for the moment (dopamine and all), soon it will fester and inflame. On the other hand, if something bites you and you put cream on it, and don’t scratch it. The bite will heal significantly faster with fewer complications. Getting sweet revenge will reward you with dopamine but is it even worth it.
A Chinese quote from one of my favorite books goes something like this, If a dog bites a person, will a person bite back? lol I hope not!
Going tit for tat, throws the match that can set ablaze everything around us. Many of the world’s greatest strifes started as misunderstandings/disagreements that couldn’t be put out that grew out of control. Few feuds are as famous as the Hatfield–McCoy feud, that lasted from 1863 to 1976. In this feud, many people died, and a few were given life imprisonment. One theory as to how this all got started is that the families were arguing over a pig. Rather than forgiving these to families decided to go a different route, which was of a perpetual violent nature.
Chains that bind
Grudges, vendettas, and what have you, Are like shackles that you drag behind you everywhere you go. The larger the hate the heavier the chains. Though these chains are only imaginary, the stress they put on your body and on your mind is as real as the morning sky! When you forgive, you leave these chains behind. Better to fly free and unbound than be chained to the ground!
Anyone who tries to live a life of Yolo knows, that time is the ultimate opponent. What better reason to not waste any on people, places, and things that are not of the utmost importance to us. Being angry over something, stressing the body/mind is in very few ways beneficial to you.
How to forgive
Grudges take up too much space in our hearts and minds. Sometimes it’s best to clear your mind. Clearing your mind can be as simple as doing something you like ie. reading a book, playing video games, hanging out with friends. Excerpt from the Lord’s Prayer:
“And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive them that trespass against us”
Just like positive affirmations, this can be used as a sort of forgiveness affirmations. As I have gotten older and made more mistakes. I have learned to be less critical of the mistakes of others. Heaven knows people have forgiven me many times, so on that same note, I try to pass the favor on to someone else.
Putting ourselves in the shoes of someone who has wronged us, is one of the fastest ways to forgive. A lot of the times people only see things from their point of view. You can be right, and the other person be right at the same time. Depending on the viewpoint a 6 can be a 9, it depends on how you look at it.
Forget about it
If you have tried all of the other ways, and nothing seems to work just forget about it. Yes, I am serious! This is why people say forgive and forget. If you can’t find it in your heart to forgive them, then focus on forgetting. Whether that means forgetting that they owe you that money. Forgetting that they didn’t have your back like they said they would. Notice when I say forget about it that doesn’t mean you have to continue to be their friend or lend them money etc. How close you are to them afterward is your own prerogative. What I mean is that we can not give people so much free rent in our mind. Do not give people a license to run amok in your mind. I said that 2 times for emphasis!
The faster you learn that there are somethings, that you should just let go of, the better off you will be.