Forgiveness is a virtue that not all possess. When someone hurts us, does something wrong, or lies, we decide whether to forgive or hold a grudge. If we forgive, can we forget? If we hold a grudge, can we live with it? Either decision has consequences. They can be positive or negative. If we decide to forgive, we need to forget, so that we can move on. If we decide to hold a grudge, there can be negative feelings we need to deal with.
I am sure, that many of us have had to forgive someone at some point in our lives, maybe, our parents, siblings, children, friends, or coworkers. They may have made a mistake or hurt us, intentionally or by accident. Accidental mistakes are easier to forgive. Intentional mistakes are a bit more difficult to forgive. Why is that? If we perceive that a mistake was accidental, we can reason our way into forgiveness. If we perceive that the mistake was intentional, then we weigh the reason, circumstances, and damage it caused, before we can determine to forgive or not.
In the case of accidental mistakes, we see the mistake and realize that we could have done the same thing. Our own understanding and reasoning helps with seeing things for what they are. The lesson the person learns, may be enough to understand they are truly sorry for what they did.
If the mistake was intentional, it is harder for our mind to understand why someone would want to hurt us. We may ask ourselves, Did I provoke it? Do I deserve it? Could I have prevented it? We ask these three questions in order to understand their reasoning, and the circumstances surrounding their intentions. We ask ourselves, How much damage have they caused? Is the damage irreversible? Can I trust them again? These last three questions we ask ourselves in order to determine whether to forgive or not to forgive.
If we decide to forgive, and we can forget, then we can move on and put it in the past. If we decide to forgive, but have a hard time forgetting, then we may get stuck in the thought, and may not be able to move on. This can create a negative situation. We have good intentions to forgive, but we cannot get over it. It is understandable. There are situations that are harder to forget, and harder to come to terms with. However, if we choose to forgive; time is on our side. Time will help build trust with the person, one more time, and will determine if we made a good decision, like the saying goes, “Only time will tell.”
Holding a Grudge
There are situations that inflict pain, not necessarily physical, but emotional. When a person hurts us intentionally, it is hard to comprehend and nevertheless, forgive. We may hold a grudge. A grudge takes us into a realm that carries severe consequences. A grudge builds up inside and eats away our inner soul. A grudge serves as a window to unhappiness, and opens a view of life that can be less uplifting. Why? Because when we hold a grudge, we express it in our actions, words, and thoughts. When something bad happens, we tend to tell as many persons as we can think of. We complain about the situations, we get upset as we complain and we think, constantly, about what was done to us.
A grudge thrives on negativity, surrounds us with pity, and consumes our mind. When something is so unfair, unrighteous, and intentionally done, it digs into our veins, and allows them to boil.
The worst part is that while we are holding a grudge, the person that hurt us is out there enjoying their life. They have no cares or concerns about the hurt they cause. In that case, why hold a grudge? Why consume ourselves in negative thoughts? Because the hurt is so deep, that we cannot come to terms with it.
The circumstances that lead us to hold a grudge, instead of forgiving, have a significant impact in our lives. It is important to understand that there are powerful and hurtful instances where it is just too hard to practice forgiveness. We just need to be aware of its consequences. Like forgetting, a grudge fades away with the passage of time. As time passes by, the hurt eases, the grudge diminishes and our minds are released from its hold.
It is best to forgive and move on than to hold a grudge. Forgiveness provides us with peace of mind. A grudge digs into our souls and holds our minds prisoners. It hurts and it is hard to let go. In time, we can forget how much it hurt, and allow our minds to be freed. Whether we choose to forgive, or choose to hold a grudge, it is a personal choice. We just need to understand why we made that choice and what consequences it carries.