Editor's note: Olaolu Beckley, the Special Assistant to the President on Documentation, Office of the Vice President writes on forgiveness, arguing that is difficult to forgive and let go of a hurt or wrong done to someone. In her spare time, she plays the drums and loves to stay up to date with tech trends.
“Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against natural instinct to pay back evil with evil.” - POPE JOHN PAUL II
If we really want to be honest, it is difficult to forgive and let go of a hurt or wrong done against us. This is more so when our feelings of being hurt are justified and valid. The reality is people will upset us and we will definitely upset others too, it is simply the way human beings operate.
Like Pope John Paul II said, “forgiveness is a personal choice.” It is a conscious decision not to let the hurt and pain affect us.
Someone once said to me that it is best to move on quickly after being horribly treated by getting busy with the next thing. In other words, find something useful to distract yourself, and get your mind and thoughts focused on achieving a goal or desired outcome.
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On the one hand, this proves helpful on some occasions, but on the other hand, the mind is a powerful thing and once it starts to wander, we find ourselves remembering or dwelling on the pain again.
Here is my take: LIFE IS TOO SHORT to harbour unforgiveness. Things change very quickly! A life of fulfilment can’t be attained with hate and resentment towards others. When people hurt us, it is left to us to make that tough choice to forgive and repay evil with kindness. After all, there is something called karma – what goes around comes around.
We shouldn’t let the bad behaviour of others deprive us of our own good nature. Also, forgiveness helps with our mental health and strengthens our relationships with others.
Some might say that when we forgive easily and treat those who acted badly towards us with kindness, they might take advantage and see it as a weakness. This is what I say to that: just forgive anyway. Your actions might be the compass that directs the opposing party towards redemption.
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