I believe in the uplifting power of true forgiveness. I have seen the grief and suffering that vengeance causes, and I have experienced the feeling of a weight being lifted off of my shoulders because I have truly forgiven someone.
My best friend has been holding a grudge for the majority of her life; she fights a battle that no one knows about, no one that is except for me. Her father left their family when she was just a little girl, leaving her mother alone to support herself as well as her four children. This tragic incident scared my friend for life. She no longer has the faith in people that I have, especially in men. She doesn’t trust them, not her guy friends, not her boyfriends, not even adult males that she knows.
She puts on a good mask, though. You would never guess that she didn’t trust men. But the fact that her father left has made her angry and confused for the majority of her life. She doesn’t know why her father left and I’m not sure she cares for an explanation; she is only concerned with the fact that he did leave and that she, the oldest girl in the family, has had to take on a huge responsibility to take care of her home while her mother works. Too often I find her fuming, thinking about her father and her current condition. She swears that she will get him back, but she knows that doing that won’t solve her problem. I have seen her wishes of vengeance on her father and the way she takes them out and I assure you it’s not healthy. She keeps all her rage bottled up inside her, never letting go of her past. She will never find her father; he’s gone for good and while a part of her knows that, the other part of her keeps hope so she can find him and seek her revenge for him leaving her.
She makes herself sick thinking about it.
Although I have never experienced anything nearly as drastic as my father leaving, I have been wronged numerous times as we all have. My initial instinct is to be mad at the person, and like any human being I am for a while. But after the initial shock is over, so is most of the problem. The issue will disappear into thin air if you let it. I never forget what has happened to me; I always remember who I can and can’t trust and I try not to make the same mistakes twice. But when it comes down to it, everything is just a lot easier all around if you are forgiven rather than avenged. And forgiveness, I believe, is a force to be reckoned with.