“Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.” Oscar Wilde
“When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive” Alan Paton
This morning I had a wonderful phone conversation with a friend I have
known since we were 14. That is nearly 50 years. In a few months it will be. That’s a long time to have a friend. She and I both went to a school for girls for high school where we met. She and I both were goody two shoes in our previous schools, honor role students, (she is truly smart, I just worked hard), and she was also a good athlete, while I was, again, a hard worker, but without many results in this field!
She and I both also came out of this experience very damaged. It took us both a long time to realize that those 4 years were not meant to destroy us but to release us into our true selves. And today we talked about how we are both-FINALLY-ready to release our hatred for the headmistress, the teachers, the people who made our lives so miserable for those long 4 years.
The details are not relevant. Suffice it to say we both turned away from our goody two shoes personalities and became “bad girls” from the standpoint that we took to smoking and drinking to prove they couldn’t destroy us. Little did we realize at the time that we were only hurting ourselves. Ditto carrying a grudge for all these long years. Most of those “wicked people” are long gone and who is hurt by carrying grudges other than the carrier of those grudges? They become a heavy burden that slows down our progress and since both she and I are soul seekers, having that burden shadowing our every move has been yet another challenge.
Coincidentally, just before Christmas I received a plea for money from the school. That has happened at least once a year since the day we graduated, 46 years ago this June. It just so happens, though, that this year instead of throwing the appeal into the recycling bin unopened, I chose to open it, read it, and respond by writing a check. This sounds like a small thing, and indeed in some sense it was. The check was for a small amount, but it has been a HUGE step in my development. It wasn’t until I talked to my friend this morning that I realized what this step meant.
It meant that I was finally able to put this all behind me. It meant that I finally realized that this adversity was only a way to teach me lessons, ones I learned layers of over and over and over through my life. (I am after all a very slow learner!!!! Remedial life lessons I call it!) It meant I finally forgave the “offenders” who were really OK people after all is said and done. It was my attitude that demonized them. It meant that I could, after too many years, move on.
I truly believe in the power of educating women worldwide. Looking at the school which is so different from the one I attended, I made a conscious decision in December to support that belief by donating a few dollars to their mission of educating women. They are truly doing some amazing work with women. So why not support it?
It’s a small step in the whole scheme of things. But a big one for me. To forgive is sometimes the best hardest thing to do. To let go of those horrid memories and release them to the balm of forgiveness has done more for my soul than I can say.
I hope you can move ahead much more quickly than I did. To be honest, I have put so much focus on healing other issues this was kind of on the back burner for many years…..but believe me it never stopping simmering there!
What is on your soul’s mind that needs releasing? What is your plan to do so?
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
Here are a few more quotes I found on forgiveness that I thought you might enjoy:
“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”
“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.” Lewis Smedes
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” Mark Twain
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”