“Soooooooo you mean to tell me that I’m so supposed to forgive someone who did me wrong, that didn’t even have the decency to apologize..? Eff. That.” – Me, Pre-30s
You know.. There was a time in my life where I thought holding onto grudges was cute. And in fact, used to pride myself on it. I would shamelessly brag to anyone who would listen, “You know I can hold a grudge for forever, right.” Because after all, there was no way in hell that I was going to miss out on an opportunity to show someone that they messed up with me. And I damn sure wasn’t willing to forgive a person who failed to see the error in their ways, and saw no point in apologizing.
So childish and so immature. I went through life holding on to what people had done to me, and forced myself to become angrier with the mere mention of their name.
Truth be told, I quickly learned that maintaining a grudge took an incredible amount of discipline and hard work. And I don’t know about you, but after trying to remain disciplined in so many other areas of my life, the last thing I wanted, was to put forth that much effort into being upset with someone.
I didn’t realize how damaging this behavior was until I saw how it was affecting my relationships with others. I had been carrying what had been done to me, ultimately punishing and the next person for it. And that just wasn’t fair.
I finally had to reason within myself that the only way to get free from the this self-inflicted bondage, and have the kind of peace in relationships that I wanted (whether they be professional, personal, or relational), was to ultimately forgive those from past. Even when I knew they didn’t deserve it.
See, my deliverance wasn’t wrapped up in what they were, or were not doing. My deliverance was wrapped up in me and what I was willing to let go of. And once I made the conscious decision to forgive those who had yet to extend an apology, I began to approach people, situations, and experiences differently.
Sister my sister, they say that the true measure of maturity is learning how to accept an apology that we may never receive. And with all the beauty that is waiting for us on the opposite side of our forgiveness, we are doing ourselves a great disservice by holding on to the hurt, pain, and sadness that was caused by others.
It stalls our blessings. It stalls our growth. And it keeps us living in constant turmoil.
So from this day forward, let’s commit to getting over our pride and egos, and learn to forgive those from our pasts. Let’s get free so that we can go on to live the fruitful and joyous lives that we not only envision, but that we deserve.