“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” Lewis B. Smedes
It’s a time for healing and forgiveness. Well, it’s always a good time for these qualities. However, including healing and forgiveness in our lives can lead to happiness. Let me speak from my own experience. There is a person, who shall remain nameless, he and I were very close.
Due to a religious difference of opinion, he became harsh and declared himself my enemy. We argued about this difference of opinion. Although we argued about our different views on the issue, I will still surprised when he started to use harsh language against me.
That wasn’t the hardest part though. My mother passed away a couple of months later, and I would talk to him about my mother all the time, so he knew how much I loved her. When he found out he didn’t even offer his condolences because he was ‘boycotting’ me.
That hurt me more than anything he said previously. Why am I telling this story? Because I forgave him. I can’t be hypocritical by imploring others to forgive but not do it myself. One of the many benefits of healing and forgiving is realizing how blessed we really are.
We’re living in a time where there’s so much bad in the world, so just small acts of kindness can affect people so deeply. Healing and forgiving others can prevent us from doing these small acts of kindness. Furthermore, it’s healing, forgiveness, kindness, and gratitude that lead to happiness.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
One of my nieces made a video online for her new business and I noticed the lighting wasn’t good, so I gave her a ring light. She literally started crying when I gave it to her. It surprised me.
But this is what I mean — there is so much rudeness, inconsideration for the feelings of others, and just plain evil going on in the world. Just a small act of kindness can make a large impact. Larger than we could ever imagine.
In order for us to have a strong impact, we must first heal ourselves by practicing forgiveness. We don’t have to forget. I didn’t forget what transpired between me and the individual I mentioned above, but I had to forgive him.
He recently sent me a friend request on Facebook. Of course, I accepted, and he messaged me shortly thereafter, and I replied. He didn’t apologize and I didn’t expect him to because he still believes what he did was right. However, I promise you this, I only want good for him. Keep in mind, he hated me, I never hated him.
Just because people do bad things doesn’t mean we have to hold on to those things ourselves. Trust me, it’s part of the healing process. There is a tradition that states, “Kindness have never been added to a thing except that it made it better.” This is not only the state we should be in personally — we need this as a country.
We need to heal and forgive. By doing these things, we can truly be happy. I pray for people. It’s important to me. Why wouldn’t I do that?
When I look at my life, what God has done for me, saved me from, and protected me from when I couldn’t protect myself, why wouldn’t I want others to be healed? Why wouldn’t I want other people to be better? And why wouldn’t I forgive? After all, God has forgiven me.
This post was previously published on Louis Morris’ blog.
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