Photo of Hannah Young
By Stuart Young
Yeah, I know – that’s going to be tough! Having said that, if you hold any
level of resentment or anger or sense of disappointment towards someone
for something they may have done, not done, said or not said then consider
I think we all know deep down that forgiving someone (for their trespasses)
is the healing thing to do, we know that it will help us in the long run with
our own happiness. However, doing it sincerely is the hardest thing to do.
When we blame someone else for our hurt or the hurt of someone we love,
we cling to the idea that we are superior. That in the same situation we would
have done it differently. That we wouldn’t have been hurtful. That our way of
dealing with ‘that’ situation would have been better.
Trouble is, even if that’s so, even if we would have done things differently,
it doesn’t make us right and them wrong. They were only doing the best they
could from where they were. If that’s not acceptable, fine. But if you hold
on to that anger or disappointment or resentment you will only damage yourself.
It’s not good for you – period!
In my experience the way to forgiveness is to first figure out what you gain.
What you gain from not forgiving versus what you can gain from forgiving.
This is quite confusing to a lot of people as there are so many circumstances
in which we can become ‘hurt’ that it seems crazy to think of ourselves gaining
anything from it. Actually if you look real hard you will always find something is
being gained, whether it’s the need to feel angry so as to keep guilt or grief at bay,
or maybe the deep desire to be ‘right’ about some occurrence that you can’t
relinquish your position.
Look and you will find it, sometimes it’s buried deep other times it’s disguised as
something else. But search for the ‘gain’ and you are sure to find it.
Once identified it becomes so much easier to realise how forgiveness can actually
reduce your pain so considerably that it becomes the obvious choice.
Caroline Myss Ph.D author of ‘Anatomy of the Spirit’ goes in to great detail on this
subject – I encourage you to search her out, it’ll be worth it.
If you struggle to forgive ask yourself questions like:
‘What will I gain for NOT forgiving… [you fill in the blank]?’
‘What will I gain BY forgiving… [you fill in the blank]?’