Forgiveness is hard, and most people struggle with it. That’s why there’s so much talk about how to forgive. It is challenging, and I’ve found myself saying something lately that has helped me move on from the simple and the truly challenging. Each time I encounter a frustrating situation or a painful memory, I tell myself, “I’m just not going to waste my energy on that.”
That little sentence is a relief to me and helps me release my anger and frustration as I exhale and say it. After uttering those words to myself or out loud, I feel I retain my energy rather than give it to someone or something that isn’t there. I have spent years staying angry at people who hurt me one way or another thinking it would protect me from future pain. In the end, I learned putting up that wall blocked my outpouring of love to others, isolated me, and exhausted me both mentally and emotionally. When I realized what I was doing to myself, I understood the meaning of the saying that un-forgiveness hurts only you.
Forgiveness won’t remove the memories of painful past wrongs altogether, but it can help you find the courage and strength to allow yourself to give love to the tiniest and most important things in your life. I’ve released painful memories repeatedly, and I will for the rest of my life, but each time it gets easier. Choosing to love gives you the healing that you desired all along.
I think what we really want more than apologies or revenge. Healing and happiness are the true goals. For that reason alone, I hope you will invest your energy in worthwhile things and choose not to waste your energy on bad traffic, failed relationships, absent parents or anything that’s hurt you because you can!