“It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
– Maya Angelou
Up until I was about 15 or 16 years old,I held grudges like no other. Cross me, and you were dead to me. Seriously, I wouldn’t speak to you, or even acknowledge you. And I damn sure would have acted as if you never existed in my life. However, that was the key—I was acting. I am the type of person that feels everything so deeply, betrayal from you meant you decided for the both of us that you no longer belonged in my life. With these grudges came a dark cloud of hate and resentment in my life that I couldn’t shake.
It wasn’t until my junior year of high school in my AP Psychology class where I learned about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and decided that I needed to learn how to let go and, as many people say, let God. If I ever wanted to reach Self-Actualization, I would have to get rid of all the negativity I was holding on to, in order to become a better person. I thought about all of the animosity I was hoarding, and how it was affecting my happiness and relationships with the people I cared about and … decided that it was time to forgive.
In our lives people will hurt us. Sometimes purposely, while other times accidentally or through thoughtless comments. I have learned that the only way to move on and free myself from the anchor of hate is to forgive. Once I realized that holding grudges or hating someone was only truly affecting my life and not the other person, I realized how much of a waste of my time it was. While I was sitting around upset that the someone betrayed me, they were out there living their lives not even giving two $#!+s about me despising them.
In my eyes, you are so much stronger when you can truly forgive. The ability to recognize that not everyone is in your corner, and if they don’t have your best interest in mind, then they don’t deserve to be a part of your life, is such an advanced skill. When you can acknowledge the situation and forgive someone for all of the pain and hurt they caused you, you allow more room in your heart for love and happiness.
Three women going through life.