by Alejandra Peraza de Halvorssen
edited by Erik Halvorssen
Tips and ideas on parenting picked up along the journey of
raising five great kids
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
It is true that someone made me suffer or that they hurt me or my feelings, and it is true that I am patient and flexible, but do I truly forgive and forget??? Our culture teaches us revenge, indifference or avoidance, not forgiveness; you see it in movies, TV, everywhere, but is not right to live in a payback mode, it makes no sense and it is exhausting.
When you forgive, you are not accepting evil or ignoring it, you are understanding that such person has done you harm, but it is not up to you to judge his or her intentions. It could have been a misunderstanding, lack of communication, it could have even been done with good intentions. Evil does not come from external circumstances, it comes from the way we react to those circumstances. If evil enters our heart with hate, resentment or anger it is because we have an emptiness in our hearts, a lack of hope and love. If you live your life focusing on doing good to others, you may suffer when others hurt you, but you will not hate.
When you forgive, you set yourself free from resentment and contempt; when you hate someone that hurt you, you keep thinking of that person all the time, you are chained, enslaved to him or her. When you make peace with him or her, you set yourself free! You will be amazed of the great feeling that comes from forgiving. It is heroically hard for the other person to get in front of you and ask for forgiveness and it is heroically hard to truly forgive.
When we see our children practicing the act of asking for forgiveness and forgiving, we should reward them because it is a truly important virtue to learn. As life gets more and more complicated, they will have to practice forgiveness regularly to maintain healthy relationships and to become great adults.