It is one thing to be nice to someone, do good things for them that make you feel good about yourself, but it’s another thing to forgive someone. I don’t mean that kind of forgiveness where you decide to tell the offender that they’ve been forgiven yet you hold grudges in your heart.
I mean true forgiveness, one that empties the soul like all that bitterness in the heart has been washed off.
If you’ve never experienced that, then you do not know how freedom does taste like, and you’ve never experienced true joy. One that makes you cry.
What does it mean to be free?
In high school, while in the boarding house, freedom to me was whenever I got to stand behind the school’s main gate, even if I only got to do that while cleaning the entrance or having to fetch water from neighbouring houses when we run out of it. Just the feeling of being behind the supposed cage brought indescribable joy to me.
In college, it was seeing the Principal’s car exit the campus on Friday. Everyone could leave the campus afterward without worry, just make sure you got back on Sunday night.
Now, it’s having to see each Monday morning. Watching almost everyone be in a hurry, while few of us get to stay in bed till whenever we’re ready.
To an artist, it’s getting hold of his brush and painting any figment in his mind. To us, they seem messy, but in their messiness, they free their minds out of the cage the rest of the world locks themselves in.
To a child, it’s loving, being true, and thinking simply, are better ways in solving any obstacle.
In an English dictionary, it is the state of being free or at liberty, rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.
Freedom can mean a lot of things to everyone at each given moment. But the ultimate to me is setting others free to free yourself. Which is forgiveness.
In my mid 20’s I realized the best way to keep my heart guarded wasn’t by protecting it from hurting, rather loving more and purely to free it from toxins.
The most beautiful experience of freedom is forgiveness. It’s somehow one of the most difficult yet simplest tasks to perform. Therefore it takes a courageous person to forgive and a coward to be resentful.
It is difficult to forgive since the one that probably hurt you was previously a loved one and therefore your expectations from the fellow were to forever love you. When that expectation is not met you get disappointed and finally heartbroken.
I have never come across a person being hurt by his or her enemy, and that is because nothing good is expected from the ones we already know to be haters, hence nothing of what they do surprises us.
In trying to side with a friend who was once bitterly complaining to me of how another friend wronged her and why she was never going drop that. I ended up asking her this;
“Tell me, supposing you were the offender, how would want your friend to handle this?”
Well, she never answered that but I can tell she began thinking differently. But I asked that before judging her friend since I felt it could have been me hurting her in the same manner unconsciously, and when that happens I wouldn’t want to lose her.
There can only be hurt amid love, in the same manner, freedom can only reign when there’s forgiveness. We hold unto grudges because we feel our offenders do not deserve our forgiveness, we feel forgiving makes us weak. We feel the weight of their offends and how difficult it is for us to let it go, then we imprison ourselves with the idea of how brave holding unto that pain makes us. Forgetting we are putting ourselves in a cage.
It’s like guarding your heart with thorns. The thorns may prick and hurt anyone that comes close to your heart. Yet in the end, the injury it causes to your heart is far worst than what it can ever cause anyone that comes close to you.
We forgive someone not because they asked for it or are deserving of it, but we forgive them so we might be free. When we hold grudges we harm ourselves more than we can ever hurt our offenders. It’s like taking in poison and expecting the other person to die.
Most people have become stagnant in life because they do not know that their freedom depends on their ability to set others free. Some people can not succeed in life because they spend time blaming others for their past misfortunes, rather than focussing on how to succeed.
Some people can not find love, not that they do not want it but because their hearts are filled with bitterness over past experiences. So love comes their way but bitterness and unforgiveness make them look full and occupied like they’re saying;
” I’m attached, I already have someone in my life”.
It becomes something you own and the weight you carry along everywhere you go.
Holding grudges only tends to weigh the bearer down invisibly and that weight tends to become your drive which directs every aspect of your life. I have never seen someone who fails to forgive and is happy within since you always spend time thinking about how much the person who wronged you isn’t worthy of your forgiveness.
The whole concept of forgiveness is setting yourself free. Forgiving someone for YOU, and not for THEM, letting go for your freedom and happiness, not theirs. Some people will never accept that they wronged you, others might even never know.
Hence, let go of any grudge no matter how much they weigh or how much it hurts to let go, nobody is worth you sacrificing your happiness and freedom for.
In the end, it will be you enslaving and holding yourself captive, while the person you failed to forgive walks free and happy.
You deserve to be happy!
You deserve to be free!
You deserve to know how freedom tastes like!
Forgiveness is setting the captive free only to realize you were the prisoner.