“The only way to peace is forgiveness. To accept and give forgiveness makes possible a new quality of rapport between men, interrupts the spiral of hatred and revenge, and breaks the chains of evil which binds the hearts of rivals.”
-Pope John Paul II
Forgiveness. For some this may be something they can easily offer to another while for others it is one of the most difficult things to do depending on what it is they are having to forgive someone. Forgiveness is what can heal a relationship and wipe the slate clean and there are times that it is needed from both sides, no just one. We make a conscious effort to forgive and we are in fact in control of ourselves to offer that forgiveness. But before any of these can actions can happen we must acknowledge the hurt we are experiencing, take time to process and come to terms with it and recognize that we have the power to heal that broken relationship by forgiving them. This brings out the attributes of self awareness which sets the stage for self management, responsible decision making and relationship skills to take hold as described above in forgiving process.
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting. The hurt may never fully go away nor the anger you may be experiencing. But keep in mind that harboring certain ill will feelings is emotionally draining and may inadvertently affect and prevent other relationships from continuing to grow because are so fixated on the one that is giving you all that hurt. Like I mentioned earlier forgiveness is a process just like grieving is. Both take time and effort and it takes others to help overcome this time of need. Pope John Paul II expresses that forgiveness opens the doorway towards rebuilding that damaged relationship. It helps to recreate that close and harmonious relationship that you both had with one another. The hope is that there is a better understanding between each other’s feelings or ideas and this can only happen through the willingness of both parties to make that conscious effort.
By overcoming those emotions of hurt, fear and anger it prevents other feelings from occurring like hatred and ideas of revenge. Has the feeling of hating someone really made anything better or improve the situation or relationship? No. Does enacting revenge on someone make you feel better? Depending on the person perhaps but I can tell you it is a feeling that will not last and by seeking this you would be no better than the person who had wronged you at the outset.
Forgiveness is the pathway to peace: peace within the relationship and peace within ourselves. Don’t go through life holding on to some anger towards someone for long periods of time as it is not healthy. Don’t let too much time pass before it is too late. Face the hurt and pain. Go through that healing process. Learn to forgive and break out of those chains that are weighing on you. You will be glad that you did.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards improving your self awareness?