Core beliefs are what shape us in our daily life and I view none more important than or as difficult to follow religiously as the core belief of forgiveness. Forgiveness requires us to look deep into our souls to find what it takes to really and truly forgive those who have done us wrong in life. This is not an act of simply saying, “I forgive you” when you still hold an emotional and mental grudge against those who have wronged. Anyone can falsely forgive but still deep inside have an outstanding amount of resentment towards the guilty party. Forgiveness, done right, to me is the hardest thing a human being can do. I am talking about fully releasing any and all resentment for the person who has wronged you and to be able to look them into the eyes despite whatever wrong they have committed and to know that in your heart and soul you forgive them for their wrong doings. I have had many opportunities in life to exercise this core belief a belief that I have been taught since a child is so important. Those who do wrong many times regret it and live with a huge amount of guilt on their shoulders, a guilt they will never get over and a guilt that will make it so they can never right the wrongs they have committed. ?By forgiving these people you lift this rock and provide in a way for them to do good and to redeem themselves fore the wrong they have committed. Sure, maybe they will go out and go do the same wrong to another innocent victim but at least you know you provided them with the tools to turn their lives around to succeed and became a better person in our world.
I have a friend who ran a charity for suicidal and depressed teens that goes to SDSU and his manager ended up being a con artist. In the end she stole a big portion of the money that was meant to be donated to help and educate suicidal teens. He was crushed and emotionally devastated. They could not find her and had no means of getting those funds back which could have saved even more lives then he already had. He was full of hatred, full of rage and could only think of revenge. I sat him down after six months had past and talked to him about the possibility of exercising forgiveness. Even though she had wronged him in a horribly inhuman way I knew without forgiving he would never be able to move on in his life and would always have this grudge. We talked for hours and he eventually admitted I was right and that he wouldn’t ever get over this hatred. We sat together and he eventually forgave her for her wrongdoings, he remembered but he forgave her by email letting her know what she did was so horrible so dark but that he just wanted her to know he forgave her. She knew the wrong she did and I know her getting that added to her conscience of knowing what a sad life she was living. To have him forgive her must have thrown her into a whirlwind of knowing it was time to change her lifestyle and what she was doing with her life. He later came to me and let me know how rewarding and how positive he felt to forgive her. He said, “I know she took away from what I worked so hard for and for that I will always remember but I do…I do forgive her because I know she needs it and I hope that she learns from this forgiveness and learns man. I really do. Even if she doesn’t I can live remembering but knowing I forgive her. I forgive her.”
By forgiving you are saying that, while you will always remember what they have done to you, you are forgiving them so that they can go redeem themselves. By lifting this rock those who have done wrong still remember the what they have committed and they know deep inside how hard it was for you to forgive them. If they are smart and a decent human being they will use this act which they knew was very emotionally stressful for you to do and be a better person in their daily lives and to immediately impact the world in a positive manner. Forgiveness. It sounds so easy but to truly forgive, to truly look the person in the eyes and forgive them for their wrongdoings is so hard but is so necessary in today’s world. You do not want to live your whole life holding a grudge against those who have unfortunately wronged you. Forgiveness enables those who forgive to move on and to remember but to put the past behind them and to know that maybe one day they too will make a mistake and hopefully meet someone who finds it in their soul to forgive them as well. We all make mistakes and we can only hope to be forgiven by those who cast these mistakes against so that we can learn, remember and make sure never to wrong again.
Forgiveness, an action many cannot bring themselves to do but one I find in my core life beliefs to live a better more fruitful life. It may not be easy, but it is something we all need to take time to do. Whether it be a friend you haven’t talked to in years, or even someone who has passed and you continue to resent, we need to take the time to really and truly forgive. I have found people underestimate how great it can feel to forgive and how the world can be a better place if we all placed our hatred to the side and learned to simply…..forgive.
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