Forgive

I’ve been tryin’ to get down
to the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
and my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about…forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore

Don Henley

Learning to forgive is a challenging lesson that often takes years of practice to perfect.  It begins when we are young and disappointed by an expectation unfilled.  The parents we thought were ever-providing suddenly forget what was most important to us, or the plans we had so hoped would happen.  Then in grade school, the best friend we loved with all our heart turns and befriends another, and in the hell of middle school, groups of friends revolve continuously forcing us to either learn to forgive and move on, reconnect or to spend the most difficult years of our lives in isolation.  In high school, romance is revealed and most often hearts are broken.  Learning to forgive and move forward becomes a well-honed skill.

We are forced to contend with our own thoughts, feelings and emotions, yet forgiving is often the path to take, the lesser of two evils.  The second being pent-up hostility and rage.  Who wants to spend life in sadness and anger?  I believe forgiveness is a necessary lesson and a skill to master for when we forgive others, we are really forgiving ourselves as well.  To think that acts and events are one-sided, or occur in isolation, is to error on the side of ego.  Things don’t happen “to” people, things that happen occur because of the energy, the actions, the thoughts of people, and what we must realize is that our actions have repercussions. Our actions cause events to happen.

Forgive:

1. to cease to blame or hold resentment against (someone or something)

2. to grant pardon for (a mistake, wrongdoing, etc.)

3. (tr) to free or pardon (someone) from penalty

4. (tr) to free from the obligation of (a debt, payment, etc.)

[Old English forgiefan; see for-, give]

Thinking about the word “forgive,” the central theme being to release from something, perhaps forgiving is really about the release of a hold you have on another person, whether it is emotional, financial or contractual.  That release serves the dual function of allowing one to release the obligation and to replace it with  free will.  When we are able to truly let go, and honestly forgive another, we have learned to be true to ourselves and to give the most selfless gift:  forgive.

“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”

-Peter Ustinov


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