“Forgive” is a verb, defined at Dictionary.com as:
1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.);absolve.
2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation,etc.).
3. to grant pardon to (a person).
4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one’s enemies.
5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
I didn’t look the word up because I didn’t know what it means - I do. But I needed to look this one up to think about whether I need to forgive someone. The two definitions that stuck out like arrows to my heart were 2 and 4.
I’ve been holding a claim and resentment against some people for a year and a half. If I shared the reasons, many would say they deserve it. But in all honesty, my resentment isn’t hurting them. I don’t see them anymore. I don’t have anything to do with them anymore. The situation that hurt me is long over and doesn’t have any power over me anymore.
So what’s the point in holding on to it?
I won’t place myself in a position of trusting them again, but that’s not a matter of forgiveness. That’s just good common sense. “Fool me once…” and all that.
I actually realized a number of weeks ago that I could let this go. That my life has moved forward in a positive way and I’m not affected by the actions of these people anymore. I even spent a pleasant evening talking with one of them without (much) awkwardness.
Life is too short to hold a grudge. Letting go of this one frees me to happily live my life without keeping this thorn in my side.