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Forgiveness...why you should forgive

Updated on October 29, 2012

FORGIVENESS is a hard word for many people, and an even harder act. The very use of the word “forgive” or “forgiveness” cause people to tense up, to get angry and to go to a dark place of remembrance of an event(s) or a person(s) who caused them great pain.

I have no doubt that forgiveness is hard…like asking the impossible sometimes, but what I do know for sure, is that the act of forgiving another brings a great sense of freedom to the one who forgives. I recall being angry at a family member for many years. That anger clouded my judgement and stole my joy for a long time, as we, who refuse to forgive, continue to replay the events in our minds over and over again, even at the most unexpected times. Some of us even speak about it incessantly, to the point that our loved ones get frustrated with us. However, one day I just decided that I couldn’t keep hurting myself anymore and I needed to let this go.

What a glorious moment that was when I made peace with my transgressor…..blessed relief. It was as if a heavy load had been taken away from me. I became a happier person. I was no longer sitting in judgment of someone else.

I have since learnt that forgiveness is not for the one who has wronged you, but it is for yourself, so that you can be free to move on to a better place in your life, free maybe to love again or to live again or to feel joy again, free to be energized again, free to heal yourself.

Marianne Williamson, author of “The gift of Change”, says it well when she says, “the fact that I forgive you doesn’t mean you “won”. It doesn’t mean you “got away with something.” It simply means I’m free to go back to the light, reclaim my inner peace, and stay there.”

Forgiveness is for you, so go ahead and be big enough to say, “I forgive you.”

Your life will change for the better.

Here’s what some very wise people had to say about forgiveness.

The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is an attribute of the strong….Mahatma Gandhi

To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover the prisoner was you…Unknown

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

Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much…Oscar Wildes

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it…Mark Twain


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    • embee77 profile image

      embee77 6 years ago

      Beautiful piece, Cathy. What you say about holding onto grudges is true - it clouds your thinking and holds you hostage to living in the present. Releasing the anger brings true joy. It would be a better world if more people understood these truths. Thank you! I think and write about these things, too, if you'd care to stop by.

    • profile image

      SparrowMinistries 6 years ago

      So so great! Well said. Love the quotes.

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

      Good and useful hub, thanks.

    • MellyMoo profile image

      MellyMoo 6 years ago from Australia

      Very good hub. Forgiveness is one of the secrets of inner peace. Once we learn to forgive, it just becomes so natural to us that we do it without having to think too much about it.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      This is a very beautiful and powerful hub. I think we don't tend to forgive for the simple reason we may feel that it is a weakness on our part and a fear that if we do so, the person who has hurt us gets off! But in reality, like all negative emotions, we do more hurt to ourselves that to others. Have bookmarked this as a favourite and voted up. Many thanks for sharing.

    • Cathy I profile image

      Cathy I 6 years ago from New York

      Thank you for your kind words. The world would be so much better if we all learnt the power of forgiveness, but I have every confidence that that awareness will come.

    • visionandfocus profile image

      visionandfocus 6 years ago from North York, Canada

      Beautifully written and so true. I can totally relate. Everyone should read this. Great hub. Wishing you all the best. :)

    • Cathy I profile image

      Cathy I 6 years ago from New York

      Catherine...thank you for your kind words. It's true isn't often we think we are doing someone else a favor by forgiving them, when it is actually a love gift to ourselves. I read your poem in tribute to your Mom. It was very touching and

      beautiful. Good luck to you in all you do.

      If you ever get the opportunity, do read Marianne Williamson's "The Gift of Change". I think you would like it....that's where the quote came from.

    • catydid52 profile image

      Catharine Parks 6 years ago from Niagara Falls, On

      This is a wonderful piece on forgiveness that you wrote, I especially like the part,"It doesn’t mean you “got away with something.” It simply means I’m free to go back to the light, reclaim my inner peace, and stay there.”