I believe that forgiveness is one of the hardest, yet most beautiful things that someone can do. There are many things that one has to do to forgive. I learned that what I had to do is to open up my heart, put aside my pride, and stop being stubborn. It took me awhile to forgive my father. He brought so much pain and drama into my life. He damaged my heart, and turned me into a person that I did not know. He walked out on his family, and turned our lives into a living hell. I became angry and nonchalant when it came to love. I wouldn’t let any man come emotionally close to me, due to the fear of him “walking out on me.” I couldn’t handle the thought of experiencing rejection, and dealing with the pain that comes along with it. I put walls not only around myself, but also my heart.
My father would make attempts, trying to become part of my life, but I would resist him. I would tell him” I forgive you, but I will not forget what you did to not only me, but my family.” I soon realize that once you tell someone that you forgive them, but won’t forget what they did; you are not forgiving them.
A few years have passed, and I am rebuilding the relationship that I have desired for with my father. I finally forgave him, and my life as well as his is much better. I have my father back in my life, and that has brought me so much happiness. I feel like I finally have that missing piece back in my life. I feel complete. My father is thrilled to have me back in his life. He calls me all the time. He tells me how much he has missed me, and how much he loves me. I sometimes tear up after having a conversation with him. I haven’t felt this kind of happiness in a long time. Life is too short to be angry with someone, that’s why I believe in forgiveness.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.