Published on March 6th, 2021 | by drkkr


Forgive Yourself and Then others

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that prisoner was you.

Often we think that by forgiving we are setting someone else free from their regrets or guilt, but no we are freeing ourselves of that burden.

There is a beautiful story about Nelson Mandela.

He was imprisoned for 27 years, often tortured and humiliated by the jailers at the prison.

He was released and eventually went on to become the President of South Africa.

For his swearing-in ceremony, he ensured that he invited all the jailers of the same prison he was in.

Others asked him, perplexed, “Why would you want to invite them? These are the same people who tortured you, humiliated you, laughed at you, while you were in prison.”

To which, Nelson Mandela replied, “If I didn’t invite them, I’d still be in prison”

(because his mind would still be in chains)

He is often quoted to say:

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

The truth is – it is insanely hard to apologize.

But I have to come to believe it is equally hard, if not more, to accept an apology.

And it is the rarest of virtues to forgive, without an apology.

Because we are hurt, angry, resentful, jealous, envious, bruised.

And that we care for is for the other person to realize they are wrong.

Or to seek revenge for the wrong done to us.

Rarely stopping to recognize that not forgiving is only hurting us, in the process.

We repeat the chain of events in our head multiple times over.

We keep thinking of what we should have said, how we should have reacted, how we were fooled.

We go over the scene multiple times over.

The other person hurt us just once.

But we hurt ourselves multiple times over!!

So in forgiveness, lies our escape.

Our freedom.

Our peace.

Forgive yourself and then forgive others.

Love and Peace

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