Forgive For You

“Resentment is like swallowing poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” This is a quote from Nelson Mandela, who passed away in 2013. This is a quite profound statement. Of course it isn’t surprising that such a statement came from a man who invited his captors to dinner after his release from prison (one of whom pushed for a death sentence). By understanding the quote, we understand that the act of forgiving is more beneficial to the forgiver than to the wrongdoer. Have you ever found it impossible to forgive someone? Maybe they apologized, but that isn’t sufficient. Or even worse, they never even apologized. Thinking about that person builds anger and resentment. But how much time do you spend harboring on that person’s actions? Who does that affect? You and only you. The anger and resentment are the poison.
It is vital to search within to see if resentment is lurking, root it out, and find a resolution. Resentment interferes with the body’s hormonal and immune systems. Studies have shown that resentful, angry people can have a higher blood pressure and heart rate and are more likely to die of heart disease and other illnesses. Upon forgiving , your actions and responses to life become pure instead of being controlled by emotions of anger. You may see life through a different lens. Obviously, resentment over what you consider “minor” is easier to let go than something “major”. Here is an extraordinary story of forgiveness for a “major” tragedy.
William Balfour was convicted in 2012 of first-degree murder in the 2008 shooting deaths of Hudson’s 57-year-old mother, her 29-year-old brother, and her 7-year-old nephew. Allegedly Balfour’s motivation for the killings was the split between him and his wife (Hudson’s sister). As a result, he took her family’s life. The Hudson sisters were left with the pain. Of course they went through anger and resentment. During an Oprah interview in 2012, Hudson describes her feelings as she saw him in court, “It made my skin crawl.” But when asked if she forgave him, something incredible happened. She replied, “Yes, because I feel like for the most part it isn’t his fault. It’s how he was brought up. We tried to offer you love. But you were so far gone, you couldn’t even see it. A lot of things came out that we didn’t even know about from his upbringing. He never had a chance. If you had the love my mother gave us then he would’ve stood a chance.” By placing herself in his shoes, she was able to forgive. That’s an extraordinary act; I don’t know how many others can do the same.
But some of you still can’t picture yourself telling that person that you forgive them, right? That’s okay! The wonderful thing about forgiveness is that you don’t have to tell him or her that you have forgiven them. Remember, the act of forgiving is the forgiver. As long as you understand that you truly forgive them, a large weight will be lifted off your shoulders and you can finally move on!