For the longest time, the idea of asking for forgiveness seemed frightening to me. Even as a child that process was more scary than my parents finding out about that bad report card. But like that bad grade, the fear was usually fleeting.
However, most will allow visions of anger, blame, resentment and how you will exact well-placed revenge to overload the mind. Years can pass where these feelings usually fester and you stay angry or resentful and don't..exactly....remember....why.
Why didn't you forgive that person? Was it so heinous or was it just a misunderstanding?
As children, it was easier to forgive than it is today. Techology in the form of e-mails and social media have made it easier to misconstrue meaning and more difficult to forgive. People fill the Twitters and Facebooks with insults and 'flame war' for entertainment. After all if they can't see you then they can't catch you, right? Hurt feelings can last a lifetime.
We have all been insensitive or downright mean to someone and we have all been hurt. It is so difficult to be able to 'let go' of the bad memories. But let go we must. After all, wouldn't countries be better off if they could?
So, I decided to follow my own advice. One person I felt that I had wronged by my behavior and two I didn't even know why they were mad at me and they were'nt talking.
The person that I had wronged had been a friend for almost 20 years. But as people sometimes do, we had drifted because of changes in our own personal lives. The changes weren't bad; just very different from one another. So different that there was no going back.
For months, I sat contemplating how to approach the subject and whether the act of asking for forgiveness would stir up feelings that the friend did not want to stir. The feeling of a bad report card came back.
Of the three people, I knew, felt that I had hurt them, I have heard from one. He was still growling underneath but accepted my apology. I felt a deep feeling of relief from it and although, we never really spoke much before, I felt like this was a door opening.
I learned that I wasn't asking for forgiveness for that person but for me. Whether these people forgive me or not, I forgive myself. And that is a whole lot better than feeling the gnawing pain of hatred and hurt.