This week, I’d like to talk with you about a topic I often discuss with students: the power of forgiveness. Often times I have conversations with students who have feelings of anger, hurt, betrayal, because of things others have said or done. It could be a parent, brother, sister, a teacher, a friend or someone else whom they believe has wronged them. Most of us can pull someone up in our minds right now whom we are upset with. It can feel like a weight in our stomach or on our shoulders, and even though we try to distract ourselves and take our minds off from it, it’s still there. The weightiness of unforgiveness.
I tell students that the key to freedom from this weight on us is only one thing: forgiveness. Blaming and ruminating on what he/she/they have done will not lift the weight. Distracting ourselves with other things will not lift the weight. When I discuss this with students, they often think that others need to deserve our forgiveness, by apologizing first and promising not to do it again. If that is true though, I tell them that they will be waiting their entire lives carrying more and more weight around because some people will not ever say sorry.
You see, the reason we forgive is not because someone has said sorry, but to set our hearts free from holding onto that anger, hurt and betrayal. Forgiveness sets you free. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
It is an attitude that says, you will not have control over my emotions. Because if you hurt me, I will forgive you. And I will be free again. Think about that for a moment. As you read this, if you have someone in your mind right now who has hurt you, just whisper now “I forgive you”. They don’t even need to hear it, because it isn’t for them. It is for you. This week if you are hurt by someone, I challenge you to forgive them and while it doesn’t mean you forget what happened, it does mean you refuse to hold onto that hurt and let it rob you of your joy.
Live free this week Marvista! Free to be at peace and love again, showing our kids the way to live.