As a young boy growing up, forgiving people was a very difficult thing for me. I just couldn’t let go and forgive those who offended me. I always kept the hurt and also kept reminding myself of it. And the more I did this, the more the hurt became worse. The most annoying was to see those who hurt me moving about freely and lively, while I kept hurting within. One day, I just decided to stop being stupid. I decided no one would make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I decided to stop punishing myself and started letting go.
As emotional beings, it’s in us to feel hurt when treated badly and feel good when treated well. In 2016, I don’t know the number of people who offended you. But I know at least someone did. I also know that you have equally offended at least someone. Someway somehow, we offend each other consciously or unconsciously. Either way, hurting people hurt other people. Any form of hurt hurts, intended or unintended. Some of the hurts are extremely difficult to let go or forgive. No matter how hard you try, when you look at the cost and magnitude of the hurt, your heart just refuses to forgive.
This is what I’ve come to learn:
1. You don’t forgive to recover the cost; you forgive to save further cost. The more you count the cost, the more difficult it is to forgive. And the more difficult it gets to forgive, the more the cost keeps rising. Stop counting the cost. Forgive to cut the rising cost.
2. You don’t forgive to make the other person feel good; you forgive because it is first in your interest. When you forgive a person, you break yourself free from the emotional and mental prison. Your soul becomes lighter and your spirit becomes free. This gives you clarity of thought and action. Forgiveness is first in your interest. Forgive so you can feel good. Don’t wait to feel good before you forgive. The longer you wait, the more you rob yourself of the good things of life.
3. You don’t forgive only for the sake of God. Many of us say we have forgiven for the sake of God. Well, that’s a good thing but you should not only forgive for the sake of God. You should forgive knowing fully well that you’ll need to be forgiven by someone too. We are all fallible. People hurt people and you are a person. So long as we live, we will hurt each other. And so I say, forgive as many times and as quickly as you’d like to be forgiven.
Dear friend, in the next 3 days, 2016 will be gone, forever. I urge you to find at least one reason to not cross into 2017 with a luggage of people’s sins; the hurts and disappointments of 2016. Forgive them for the sake of your own emotional health. They are not worth taking into 2017. Forgive, learn from the experience and move on. It is not easy but with your will and mind, you can do it. Every hurt is a rotten apple. Don’t keep it in your bag and cross 2016 with it. Keep the bag clean and let’s move into 2017 with a free spirit, clear conscience and a clear mind.
Wishing you a wonderful last Wednesday of 2016.
From your friend and coach,
Bismark Tay | +233 204 987592