This is a tough one for someone who can't hold a grudge. Certainly I get angry at people, I am disappointed, I am hurt, but they pass fairly quickly, leaving only a wisp of whatever hurt it was. I make an attempt to look at it differently. The short answer is I don't have anything hanging about that needs forgiving. Is that really true? Yeah, I think it really is.
There's a reason for this. Some years ago, I read a couple of Louise Hay's books. I don't usually read self-help books, but someone recommended her and what I read made a lasting impression that helped me very much. In fact, it changed the way I approached life. She spoke about her parents and how, despite abuse, she had forgiven them. She looked into their childhoods and realized they did the best they could with what they had. That sentence made all the difference for me. I think most people do the things they do to others because, at their deepest core, it's all they know. They do the best they can with what they have. Now, this doesn't excuse the pain people cause each other - Louise says forgiveness has nothing to do with condoning behavior. But if I spend my life dwelling on hurts given and received, what kind of life would I have? And not that I don't dwell on things sometimes, but for the most part, I consider them and let them go. I do try not to forget the lessons learned though. There's also those sayings; being happy is the best revenge; don't let the bastards win. You get the idea. At some point you have to get up, dust yourself off and proceed with life, stop letting someone else control how you live and feel.
The past can never be changed, it happened and we can't go back. If I have done something or someone has done something to me, what I can do is acknowledge it, think about it for a little while and how I feel, then move on. I try to change the way I think about it if I am in a wacko place with it. And believe me, I get into those wacko places with emotional stuff - I contemplate it, toss it about, but... ultimately, I just let go. It did take a long time for me to get to this place though.
I keep going and TRY to leave behind what doesn't do me any good. If you keep carrying everything around with you, it sure becomes a heavy load. Some days are better than others for this, but I just keep going, looking at the stuff that makes me happy and letting the rest of it drift away. It is all up to me.
Forgiveness means giving up, letting go. It has nothing to do with condoning behavior. It''s
just letting the whole thing go. We do not need to know HOW to forgive. All we need to do
is be willing to forgive.
~ Louise Hay, You Can Heal Your Life ~