Do you find that one of the most difficult struggles in life is learning to forgive?
Proman is speaking at a local church this morning on the topic of forgiveness. You can see why this is on my mind.
“Life is an adventure in forgiveness,” writes Norman Cousins, and since nobody gets through life unscathed, that’s certainly true. What can be more adventurous than learning to let go of pain, anger and pride so we can attempt to heal a relationship — and ourselves?
Proman likes to tell a story about a man who is struck by an arrow from an unknown assailant. Rather than tending to the wound, he refuses to remove the arrow until the archer is found and punished. In the meantime, the wound festers until finally the poison kills him.
Have you suffered a spiritual or emotional wound and refused to forgive someone who hurt you? Worse, has the wound seeped poison for a lifetime?
Both religious leaders and psychologists tell us that forgiveness releases the suffering, the sorrows, the burdens of pain and betrayals and moves us towards love. On the occasions when I’ve forgiven freely–usually after someone has apologized, another subject to consider–I feel better about the world and myself, worthy goals for certain.
Does this mean I forgive easily and well. No, it’s a constant struggle, but the ability to forgive “just because” is one of those virtues I’m working toward. At the risk of being trite, two popular sayings help me the most.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff–it’s all small stuff.
- Don’t take it personally.
I’m guilty of forgetting both. But I’m trying to remember.
So is there someone you need to forgive? How can we all take a step towards healing?