When we have been treated deeply unfairly by others, there is a tendency to look backward far too often. We brood, we engage in the “what ifs” of life……we begin to live with discouragement.
Forgiveness helps us to tie up the burdens of the past so that we are not continually unwrapping the package of bad memories. Yes, we have been hurt. Yes, we might even have been hurt by our own actions. Yet, that is not the story of whom the other is or of whom we are as persons. Our past does not define us and forgiveness helps us to see that because we can overcome the past so that it is not our obsession of regrets.
Forgiveness helps us look forward……to our new-found ability to love others more deeply. Today, I will try to be of service to those I meet. Today, I will try to ease the pains inside at least one other person because I have been in pain and know what it is like.
Forgiveness points me to a future of being able to love no matter what. Pains of the past will not stop that. Other people’s harsh judgments of me will not stop that. My own past failings will not stop that. I can love…….and I choose to do so……now……and in the future.
I will be defined now by what I can do in love rather than by what has happened to me in the past.