I wrote this article last year and it was published on Bella Naija, this morning I discovered I didn’t post it right here on the blog. So guys, please read, learn and share.
A few days ago, I got back from work and met my little brother crying, the one before him had beaten him. I scolded the older one and even reported him to our parents. Thing is, they had a misunderstanding and it resulted in a fight; of course, the stronger one would win.
A few minutes later, I saw the both of them laughing and talking; I was surprised. These are the same people who just finished fighting. I started feeling like the bad guy. These children had moved on so quickly and the fight put behind them.
That incident struck something in me; children do not keep a record of wrong, despite the fight, they were back to being friends in a matter of minutes. But if we adults, most often than not, after a disagreement, we may change, cut the person out, hold a grudge, or even become bitter.
The unfortunate truth is, unforgiveness is sowed by a simple seed of anger. When we let it grow unhindered, it becomes bitterness.
2016 is gradually coming to an end, and I will like to implore each and every one of us to not carry bitterness into the New Year. Nothing stops blessings from your life like unforgiveness and bitterness.
Forgiveness is easier said than done, but it is imperative if we want to live fulfilled, successful, and happy. No one is big enough to occupy your precious heart.
How do you forgive and let of bitterness?
I would share some few tips that have helped me
1. Take some time out to heal. It may seem like you’ll never escape the emotions you feel when you’ve been wronged, but time heals all wounds. It’s ok to cry, scream, be angry, just let yourself heal. Take time away from the person if necessary.
2. Talk to God about it. Humanly speaking forgiveness can be difficult, but with the help of God, forgiveness becomes easy. Ask Him to help you forgive the wrong that was done to you.
3. Don’t blame yourself or any other person for that matter, for the wrong done to you. As humans, making mistakes is a part of life. That means you shouldn’t be hard on yourself or beat yourself up, learn from the experience and move on.
4. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re excusing the person for the wrong done, but maturity is learning from it, and taking responsibility for the part you played.
5. Learn to give people room to make mistakes. No matter how careful you are, people would wrong you, even you will wrong others, so learn to give people room to make mistakes.
6. Don’t jump to conclusions as to why someone behaved the way they did, put yourself in their position, would you have done the same thing? You may never understand why they did what they did, but it can sometimes help to see things from their eyes. It’s important you never blame yourself for anything—or try to find excuses for them—but taking some time to empathize with your wrongdoer for a moment can make it easier to see the reality of the situation. Remember, we’re all human and we are nowhere near perfect.
7. It’s important to note that forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation, what do I mean? Reconciliation requires both parties working together. Forgiveness is something that is entirely up to you. Although reconciliation may follow forgiveness, it is possible to forgive without re-establishing or continuing the relationship. The person you forgive may be deceased or no longer part of your life. You may also choose not to reconcile, perhaps because you have no reason to believe that a relationship with the other person is healthy for you. Chances are, you’ve lost some of your respect for them, and if you don’t want to be around them, that’s your call. Some friendships may just be toxic and they may keep wronging you; every chance they get.
Let’s imitate the little children; they are trusting, humble and forgiving. I know you’ve been wrong, you’re hurting, and the pain feels like it will never go away, but forgiveness first and foremost is for you. Holding on to bitterness is like walking around with a heavy load of burden.
Please don’t carry that burden anymore. After reading this, kindly take action, if you have to call to let someone know you’ve forgiven them, please do so, if you’ve wronged someone; please call the person to apologize. We should be mending fences not destroying them.