Todays challenge is brought to you by Dr. John H. Sklare
Today I’d like to present you with an interesting challenge about forgiveness.
We’re all confronted with the dilemma of whether to forgive someone at some point in our lives. Because we’re human, we don’t always do or say the right things and, as a result, we occasionally find ourselves either asking for forgiveness for something that we’ve done or considering forgiving someone else for something that they’ve done.
While I generally agree that forgiveness can clear your eyes, free your spirit and cleanse your soul, my personal belief about forgiveness goes against the grain in certain cases. Some people believe that you need to forgive people for things they’ve done, no matter what that deed may be, or you’ll never be able to feel free and move forward.
I, on the other hand, think that acceptance is just as effective as forgiveness in some instances because, I believe some things are simply unforgivable.
I was reminded of this recently while listening to a woman recount her memories of early childhood sexual abuse. She’s a happy and well-adjusted woman today, but she couldn’t bring herself to forgive the perpetrator for this repetitive, heinous crime. She was, however, able to accept this awful part of her past, put it behind her and move forward with her life.
Some behaviors and circumstances that lead to divorce offer other examples of the kinds of transgressions where acceptance can replace forgiveness.
Acceptance can create the same kind of peace of mind and deliver the same emotional benefits as forgiveness does.
With that said, the kind of forgiveness that I want to address today doesn’t revolve around any transgression that involves anything as serious as my previous two examples. Instead, I want to talk about those things that are absolutely forgivable.
So here’s my challenge today: Think about someone close to you whom you haven’t forgiven, but only out of pure stubbornness or to simply maintain the emotional upper hand.
It may involve a family member, close friend or even your significant other. It may be something that just happened recently or an incident from the distant past that continues to fester.
End this lingering emotional distance with this person by telling them that you forgive them. Of course, it’s best if you really mean it, but if you know in your heart that they’re sorry, didn’t intend to hurt you and truly want to get back into your good graces… forgive them. Unlike the two exceptions I mentioned earlier, most of the things that those dear to us do to upset or hurt us are forgivable.
So, if my message sounds uncomfortably familiar and strikes an emotional chord with you today, take my advice and send a little forgiveness in the direction of someone who you know deserves it, could truly use it and would be grateful for it.
Become the peacemaker; it will eliminate this mental irritant from your life, give relief to someone near to you and benefit you in ways you can’t even imagine at the moment!