Forgiveness is one of the really difficult things in life. The logic of receiving hurt seems to run in the direction of never forgetting either the hurt or the hurter. When you forgive, some deeper, divine generosity takes over. When you forgive, then you are free. When you cannot forgive, you are a prisoner of the hurt done to you. If you are really disappointed in someone and you become embittered, you become incarcerated inside that feeling. Only the grace of forgiveness can break the straight logic of hurt and embitterment. It gives you a way out … You begin to see and understand the conditions, circumstances, or weakness that made the other person act as they did.
- John O’Donohue,Eternal Echoes
Forgiveness, for many of us, is one of the toughest spiritual lessons.
“I was so hurt!”
“They had no right!.”
“It is unforgivable.”
There is some sort of pleasure that we extract in being the victim. It’s almost like a drug. “Look at me, I was so hurt.” And there is a momentary rush.
What is very hard to realize is that when we play the victim, we replay the hurt over and over again. The path out of this endless loop is forgiveness. And lip service to forgiveness will not accomplish the task. There has to be a true recognition that the one or ones that hurt us came to that place in a set of circumstances that may be beyond our understanding. DNA, environment, physical circumstances, and events way beyond our knowledge all may have had influence in perpetrating the hurt upon us.
The physical universe is most often not a warm and cuddly place. We will be hurt, and that is inevitable. Our attitude of forgiveness about the hurt, and the hurter, allow us to move on and not re-experience the hurt repeatedly. And we have achieved a huge spiritual breakthrough when we can naturally adopt this posture.
Reverend David G. Hunt