“To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you” – Lewis B. Smedes
The purpose of LIFE according to the GREAT LIFE model is to LOVE, INSPIRE, FORGIVE, and ENJOYMENT. I believe the most overlooked purpose of life is a practice of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the gateway of peace and serenity. Only until we let go of old wounds, hurt, and resentment are we able to move on to take care of the business of living.
Forgiveness is a central practice in LIFE because I believe that when we are able to practice forgiveness daily are we able to forgive ourselves. Forgiveness is important to let it just be an act, it should be its own practice. When we are truly hurt, let down, annoyed, or angered, it may be difficult to let go of the emotion completely. By daily practicing forgiveness builds a strength to let go of the resentments we hold.
We are never free from the resentment we refuse to let go. They become a part of us. They influence our thought process and belief systems and dictate our behavior. Our resentments becomes a part of a story that sometimes replay over and over. Paul Boese said “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” If we learn to forgive others for our hurts and search for our part, the role we played, can we move on to a life that is bigger than what is possible with resentment.
Until I learned to practice forgiveness as a daily part of self care, I was a prisoner of my own mind. I’ve been held hostage by the resentment that my life doesn’t look like I envisioned it would. Trapped by my resentment I had to achieve to prove to everyone I was angry at, I was better than you… My accomplishments were never good enough for me to let go of my resentment.
My resentments backfired… I will never be enough, no accomplishment will make me enough, until I forgive others and more important – myself for all the choices that brought me here. I can’t go back and live my life over. I can’t go back and make a different choice that will make me better off today. I can’t go back. I can’t go back… I can only forgive and move forward. Moving on with my LIFE, one-GREAT-day at a time, forgiveness will help me to move forward propelled by my passion and not my resentment. Forgiveness will set me free to BE who I was always meant to be. Every minute I live in a practice of forgiveness keeps me free from the ridged confines of who I should be, so that I’m better than you.
We should be as we are, as we will be, as we were born – HUMAN. We should forgive humanness. I forgive you for being human. I forgive myself for being human. We are not perfect. There is no such thing. When we ask others to behave how we want them we are asking for perfection. Forgive and set others and most important yourself free from perfection, humanness, resentments… let go and be set free.