Happy Easter! Whether or not you are a Christian, I think this day is a special day. Not just because of all the chocolate goodies involved but also because of what it means.
For Christians, this day symbolizes the day that our Lord Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again after 3 days, triumphing over death and sin. Not only that, it also symbolizes grace and mercy freely available to everyone. Forgiveness. That is the part that I think everyone can understand.
Forgiveness is an important part of life, and often one of the most difficult. I am sure that at some time or another we have all experienced some sort of hurt caused by another person. Sadly, there are people who experienced the most evil things, the height of cruelty. If you are one of those people, I am truly sorry that you have had to endure something like that. I don’t presume to know what anyone is going through and whether or not you can’t or won’t forgive the people who have done this.
The beauty of forgiveness is not only that it may help the wrong doer in a certain sense, but that it sets us free too. When we choose to forgive, we may not forget, and sometimes we may need to forgive over and over because we keep going back to “unforgiveness”, to the anger, hurt, disappointment, even hate. But in that moment where we forgive, and hopefully it will be a permanent choice, we let go of all the anger and hurt, they will no longer have power over us.
This sounds great of course, but to put it into practice can be so hard. For some people the hurt had been caused over many years, and how do we let go when that is the case or betrayal runs deep? I don’t know that I can answer that question. I don’t know the answer to everything and life doesn’t really come with a complete manual! But time does help. If you need to, please seek professional help or counselling. When we hold on to all the bad feelings, it becomes like a cancer, slowly sucking the life out of us. It takes over our life, it steals our joy. No one has the right to make you feel that way. I also believe that we choose how to react. We can’t always choose what life throws at us. No one is promised an easy and carefree life all of the time, I can guarantee that those people who look like they have it all and are always happy, have had bad things happen to them too. But life teaches us lessons as we go on. We learn and gain wisdom and strength as we go, we learn that we have a choice in how we deal with what has happened to us.
Don’t get me wrong, forgiveness does not mean not reporting a criminal act, or being buddy buddy with the friend that has betrayed you, or that everything will be all hunky dory in a marriage or relationship where someone has cheated. Forgiveness doesn’t say, you may have done me wrong, but its okay. The wrong doing still needs to be dealt with appropriately. Rather its the choice not to harbour a grudge or become (or stay) bitter. Its a lot of hard work, and a difficult choice, but an important and necessary decision.
I pray that you may all experience the freedom of forgiveness, not only when you are the one needing it, but especially when you are the one giving it. With forgiveness, we take back the power, we say I choose to be happy, we choose not to dwell, we choose to be stronger, we choose joy and life in abundance. 🙂