“Let us forgive each other - only then will we live in peace.”In this season of bright bows and colorful packages, it is easy to forget the gift without price. Forgiveness is the gift that costs us nothing other than letting go of our angers and hurts. This year I was gifted with forgiveness of my darkest moment. It was an unexpected and magnificent gift that washed away years of guilt and self-condemnation. It set me free of the past.
-- Leo Tolstoy
"Without forgiveness there is no future."
-- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The extreme generosity of this gift lifted my heart and made me want to be equally generous with forgiving all my real and perceived wrongs and injuries. However, even with the example and leadership of Jesus, whose birthday much of the world celebrates tomorrow, forgiveness is not easy. I find myself in one particular instance holding onto the past, turning our dark history around and around as if looking at and polishing each facet of a valuable gemstone. Why is it so important to continue to feel wronged? Why am I reveling so in my own "rightness?"
In this instance, forgiveness has not been requested so I know that, if I can make the choice to forgive, the primary gift will be to myself. In searching the Internet for ideas on forgiveness, I found the following from Larry James
Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. It is not something you do FOR someone else. It is not complicated. It is simple. Simply identify the situation to be forgiven and ask yourself: "Am I willing to waste my energy further on this matter?" If the answer is "No," then that's it! All is forgiven.I can do this. I will let go of this hurt. I will forgive.
Forgiveness is an act of the imagination. It dares you to imagine a better future, one that is based on the blessed possibility that your hurt will not be the final word on the matter. It challenges you to give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and to believe in the possibility of a better future. It builds confidence that you can survive the pain and grow from it.
I invite you to join me in finding one wrong to forgive in this season of love and forgiveness.
May all your holidays be joyful and safe.