Forgiveness is a choice, a choice that you can make to free yourself from the emotional prison of anger, hatred and bitterness. I am not saying that the “choice” is an easy one, only that it is a necessary one.”
I have found Dr. Phil’s words on forgiveness to be absolutely true in my life. Dr. Phil says people are reluctant to forgive because it “trivializes” what they have been through.
I remember a time when someone did something that hurt me so badly and I was devastated. They said a lot of things that were absolutely untrue and I couldn’t understand why they would do such a thing to a friend. At least, I thought we were good friends.
One day, I had to “decide” the hurting stops here. I decided I would love that person in spite of all the hurtful things I felt I had “endured”.
In the beginning, I didn’t want to “forgive”...it was almost like “If I didn’t forgive them, they would suffer for what they said”. But, in reality, I knew that wouldn’t be true. They would not suffer, it would be me. I decided forgiving is much better than suffering.
I decided I would make myself love that person. What did I do? Every time their name crossed my mind (and it was often), I would say to myself, “I love..and I’d call their name”. Every time I saw that person, I would tell myself, “I love...and I would call their name.” I saw them often, so this was a continual process.
After a period of time (and I don’t even know when it happened), all of a sudden I realized I didn’t feel the same anymore when I’d think of them, or see them. Somewhere along the line, I’d forgiven them. They no longer had the power to hurt me or make me upset.
That has been years ago and I still call them my friends. Through the years my relationship with them deepened and I find them a real joy to be around. What would it be like if I had not chosen to forgive? At best, it would have been strained, but when I chose to forgave them, they were released to still be comfortable around me and which released me to be comfortable around them.
Is there someone in your life that stirs up negative emotions just by the mention of their name? Forgiving does not ‘trivialize’ the pain you suffered, but it frees you. It sets you free! What someone did may really be a big deal, but is harboring those emotions worth punishing yourself by opening doors for you to have ill health, or by keeping you unhappy? Harboring un-forgiveness is really not worth it, emotionally or mentally. Forgiveness is not about them. It’s about you. It’s about your freedom and your peace of mind.