What does forgiveness look like? This is one of the most sought after words to understand. Why? Because we’re set free when we figure it out.
Really something just hit me this morning. My mom and I had a rough go when I was growing up but the thing that occurred to me just this morning was that I have been reading, studying, associating with people and doing all kinds of things to improve my mind, improve my thinking and improve all of the person that I am. And I’ve been doing it for several years. It’s been a long process to get to where I am now and I know that it is in fact a lifelong continual process. How can I hold anything against my mom from over 20 years ago?
Just that thought seems silly.
At that time, she didn’t have the opportunity to improve or work on herself in a fully focused way. She had a kid. She also had to get through nursing school. Which she did and became a successful nurse. That is a great accomplishment. What occurred to me was this; she didn’t have as much time to do personal development on herself, so our relationship suffered. But she did make a choice. At least she made a choice. For so long, I blamed her for how I was until it occurred to me, a few years ago, that it was up to me to determine who I am and who I intend to be.
Forgiveness is not willingly allowing countless folks to spit in your face, take advantage of you and walk all over you while you smile but deep down (maybe not that deep actually) you perceive that you’re a victim. Poor you. Everything happens to you. Everyone takes advantage of you. Everyone walks all over you. Keep rehearsing those thoughts, that will be the life you live. Live is the incorrect term. That will be the life you endure. Because it will be miserable and you will hate every day you’re alive (That’s a sobering thought… hating every day you’re alive…) That is NOT what forgiveness looks like.
People will hurt you. People will lie and cheat in your direction. People will do the worst possible thing you could ever imagine them doing. How you channel the power of that pain into who you become is a form of how forgiveness works. Simply put, forgiveness does not slow your progress but rather encourages it. Without forgiveness and the desire to become more, you will be stuck hating a shadow of your past that seems alive when it very much is not. Forgiveness is to continue on despite the shit someone has thrown at you and no longer hating them for it. And when you see that shit thrower in the future, you must do your best to meet them with only a smile and progress.
And if you really can’t let it go and you will not rest until wrongs are righted, just read these immortal words from Frank Sinatra, “The best revenge is massive success.“