Forgive with humility and compassion

You MUST forgive her, him, them, I have found myself saying to an assortment of folks over the last several decades.  Every time I hear someone I am talking with suddenly utter “I will NEVER forgive…” I take a breath and remind him or her that holding onto old anger as I’ve once heard, is “…like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.”  There is no peace of mind when we are clinging to old hurts as if they were something to cherish.  Keeping such anger in a deep dark place in our hearts and re-running the issues keeps us from moving forward.  We get stuck and the ugliness grows instead of going away, it poisons us.

As I am finishing up the book No Man is an Island, by Thomas Merton what do I find but this very topic and what have I learned, that we must not only forgive, but to do so with humility and compassion!    Now that is going to be some work, not only getting past the pain the offender has generated, but to really open our hearts and find that we too, could have said or done a similar thing and we can forgive as we would wish to also be forgiven.  Where have I heard that before?

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