As someone who is Influential in Behavioral Style (High I in the DISC™ profile) - I really want people to like me. I don't like dis-harmony and want to get along well with everyone. Only 28% of all people have this behavioral style. Also, I have high Social Values which means I am passionate about contributing to others and would dearly love to save the world. My purpose in life is to have everyone know how extraordinary they are, to heal suffering, and to fill the world with as much love as possible. I've also had lots of training, and two years of seminary exposed me to the power of Forgiveness. By design, I forgive easily.
But each of us is unique, with our own behavioral style and values. Each of us is designed differently - and some of those designs include holding grudges and resentment. That's fine. To each his own. But what's the cost?
I have a cousin who can appreciate that I don't hold grudges, but claims that she can't be "generous" like me. For her, forgiveness is sourced by my generosity to others - others that from her perspective, don't deserve to be forgiven. I disagree. I believe that forgiving is part of my way of being, and if I'm giving anyone a gift it's a gift I am giving to myself that's beneficial to others as well.
"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free." - Catherine Ponder
When forgiveness is given you will find yourself liberated and returned to peace and love. A huge amount of light becomes available that was covered over with resentment, anger, bitterness, even hatred. More of you will become available to generate what you are committed to.
I imagine you know people like my cousin who say that they are unable to release anger and blame. They boldly declare "what they did to me is unforgiveable! I will never forgive them!" You may have said it yourself.
Well, they did what they did. You suffered then, and I find it amazing that you are willing to continue to be suffering about it to this day. From my perspective you are giving up a piece of your heart, you are sacrificing your own joy and your light, because you'll be darnned if you'll ever forgive them!!
You're right, They don't deserve to be forgiven. And, you'll go to your death being right.
Nearly all of us have been hurt by the actions or words of another. Your mother criticized you. Your partner had an affair. Your boss took credit for your work. You were laid off after years of great service. The wounds can leave you with feelings of anger, bitterness, and even thoughts of revenge. But if you don't practice forgiveness, you will be the one who pays most dearly.
- You will be living in the past.
- You will endlessly be recycling and escalating the anguish from the past.
- You will ensure the absence of peace.
- You will be living in judgment of others based on your interpretation of what happened.
- You will eliminate the possibility of knowing it's only your interpretation and recognizing that "your" interpretation is the source of your feelings.
- Your heart will be filled with anger and hatred.
- Compassion, understanding and love will not be possible.
According to Katherine M. Piderman, Ph.D., staff chaplain at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, forgiveness can lead you to physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. I know that's what is most important to you.
Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened to you. You may never forget. It's also not condoning what the other or others did. You can forgive the other person without excusing the act.
There's significant evidence that holding on to grudges and bitterness results in long-term health problems.
Forgiveness, on the other hand, positively impacts physical and emotional health and well-being. Forgiveness allows for healthier relationships and improved psychological well-being, etc. etc. Google it. Check it out.
"Don't worry about "how" to forgive. If you are worried about "how" you might never commit to the act of forgiving. Just make the commitment and trust your billiance to create ways to forgive." - Dave Ellis
If you find you are unable to forgive - you are suffering (not the other). Get some help. ISN'T IT TIME TO FREE YOURSELF SO YOU CAN FEEL GOOD?
"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner is you."
- Lewis B. Smedes