Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Holding on to resentment is exhausting

Forgiveness. It's one of the more difficult things you and I do, isn't it? And yet it's so essential to living well. I just finished an amazing novel, The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman. And it contained a powerful description of what it means to forgive and to let go of hatred.

One of the book's main characters asked her husband how he could just get over the difficult and awful things that life had sent his way. Her husband responded, "I choose to. I can leave myself to rot in the past, spend my time hating people for what happened, like my father did, or I can forgive and forget."

"But it's not easy," his wife said.

His wise response to her: "Oh, but my treasure, it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.... I would have to make a list, a very, very long list and make sure I hated the people on it the right amount. That I did a very proper job of hating, too: very Teutonic! No, we always have a choice. All of us."

Honestly, I can't say it any better than that. Isn't that exactly right? It is hard work to keep carrying resentments, anger and hatred.

Is there someone you need to forgive today? Go ahead. Drop the load. Let go. Forgive. Maybe it's even yourself (that's the most difficult of all!). Don't waste another exhausting day carrying it all around.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes!! What a fabulous reminder! Perhaps the road rage would even scale back if many of us saw this as a priority. :=)