Sincerely? Absoultely not! I carry no grudge.
"To carry a grudge is like being stung to death by one bee"
I'm somewhat confrontational...if you say something about me, or do something I don't like...I will probably confront you...and after that, it's over. I remember talking it over with Tee A and moving past it. I mentioned it because I wanted to sight an example and the incident with him stood out...
"What is forgiven is usually well remembered".
But I'm glad a few of you brought it up 'cos it brings me to what I want to talk about today...FORGIVENESS!
A few weeks ago, a friend who lives abroad called me on the phone to tell me her 8 year old marriage was over. She told me she found out her husband had a serious relationship with another woman. Serious as in...rented a flat for her, bought her a car, spends some days in her house when he had to 'travel' and so many other things...
After finding out, she 'threatened' to leave with their three kids if he didn't clean up his act. Two days after the threat, like he was waiting for a cue... he moved out of their home. A week later she found out he had moved in with his mistress, five weeks later, he filed for divorce.
I was very depressed when she was telling me the story. I could almost feel her pain and anguish through the phone. Then in the midst of tears and wailing...she started saying "I wish him death Linda. I wish him death. Oh God please make him die, that's the only way I can be normal again...he's ruined my life. Someone pls kill him. Pls die...I wish him death, I wish him death, I wish him death". She said 'I wish him death' more times than I could count and it was at that point that I also started crying.
I wasn't crying because her marriage was over...I was crying because she carried a hatred so deep, so raw, so sated, that it will probably destroy her! Her hatred for her husband had taken her to a point of no return..and for a fleeting moment I was scared for her and her children. Her? Because she sounded like her life was over and she just might want to end it. Her children? Because sometimes when we want vengeance and can't touch the one who hurt us, we turn to the next best thing...what they love...in this case...his children!
I have another friend who hates men. When I say hate...I mean Hate with a capital H. Why? She's 30 years old with an 11 year old daughter and a five year old son, from two different men who promised her the world and gave her nothing. Whenever I talk about men, love, sex etc, she tries her damnest to talk me out of falling in love or letting any man touch me or ever getting married. To her all men are evil and she's vowed never to have anything to do with another one for the rest of her life. The sad part is...she's only 30!
...easy to write, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, even easy to say but one of the hardest things to do. Forgiveness is something some of us are incapable of...giving up resentment, anger and a sense of betrayal is almost impossible for some of us...mostly because we think we are entitled to it.
I'm not perfect...oh I'm far from it! There are things I do that I'm not proud of...but if there's one thing I know how to do and do well...it's to forgive! If you apologise to me, I don't care how deep, how damaging or how much I was hurt...I let it go.
About my married friend, I'm sure there a few other married women out there who might understand a little of where she's coming from...the hatred she feels for a man she once loved and who betrayed her. I have been let down...but nothing so deep that I would wish anyone dead, so maybe I don't understand that pain. Do you understand it? Have you been there? Still there?
All of us, at some point in our lives, have been hurt and wounded by the actions or words of someone else. Sometimes the hurt is so great, the thought of forgiving never crosses our minds.
How do you forgive someone who's hurt you so deeply? How do you let go when you're consumed with a hatred that you can't even control. How do you shut your eyes at night and not feel that resentment, that bitterness, that anger towards someone for something they did to you knowingly or unknowingly.
There are those of us who need to forgive what was done to us...like my married friend.
There are some of us who need to seek forgiveness for something we did to someone else.
And there some of us who need to forgive ourselves for something we did to others or to ourselves...like my other friend with two kids.
I remember telling her never to go about waiting for someone to apologise to her or blame anyone for where she is today. She made a choice to have unprotected sex, she made a choice to keep the pregnancy and made another choice a few years later to keep another pregnancy. If she needs an apology...then the apology needs to come from her. She made the decision, she made the choice and the only thing she can do is...forgive herself for her faults and mistakes and move on.
There are some of us who go about waiting for people to come ask for forgiveness for something they did to us. I mean it would be great if they would come to us but you must accept the fact that some people will never do that. Some of them don't think they did you wrong, they dont need to be forgiven and they will never come to you...They did what they did...and that's that!
It's not easy to forgive...oh trust me I know. There are a million and one reasons not to forgive...and a million and two reasons to forgive.
Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the one who hurt you, to die.
Refusing to forgive is giving that someone who hurt you control over your life.
Refusing to forgive is letting anger, resentment, sadness, fear, disgust, aggression, contempt, depression, confusion, disappointment etc into your life.
Refusing to forgive is denying yourself of a beautiful gift...peace of mind!
Refusing to forgive can make your own life miserable.
Refusing to forgive is to choose to continue to remain the victim
Refusing to forgive is being at war with yourself
Refusing to forgive is binding yourself to that person for as long as you're bitter
Refusing to forgive is telling that person they OWN your life
When you forgive what has been done to you...This is what happens...
Your hurt, your pain, your anguish...is NOT the final word on the matter.
When you forgive it helps you give up your destructive thoughts about the situation and the person who hurt you.
When you forgive, you dissolve every link and be free of the person.
When you forgive, you change from a prisoner and become a free person at peace with yourself.
Besides forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. It makes you the bigger, better person.
Besides forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. It makes you the bigger, better person.
Forgiving someone for something they did to you doesnt mean that you have to condone or excuse the offence. Like if were cheated on...you can forgive them...but it doesn't mean that you have to reconcile with that person. You can say I have forgiven you but I don't want you in my life, I don't want you in mine, I hope our paths never cross...and I wish you all the best in life.
I know this things are easier said than done. How can you forgive someone who called off a wedding two weeks to the date? How do you forgive someone who broke up your marriage? How do you forgive someone who made you loose your job? How do you JUST forgive? The first step is the willingness to forgive. It's not "forgive and forget". How can you forget like nothing ever happened? It's "forgive and go forward,".
You will know the forgiveness process has started when you remember those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well. And you will know you have forgiven someone when they pass through your mind without you wishing them bad...or dead!
Whats your reward for forgiveness you may wonder? Let me tell you a story!
In 2004, I paid almost half a million naira for a three bedroom flat on Oweh Street, Jibowu, Yaba! About a month later,I found out that the estate agent in charge of the building had absconded not just with my money but with money belonging to eight other people. He had taken money from nine people for the same flat. He basically duped us!
A year and five months later, he was caught by the police. Unfortunately for all of us, he had squandered the money! They grilled him for many weeks and he eventually confessed he had used the money to get a visa to Germany, and made some investments. 7 months after he landed in Germany, he was deported back to Nigeria with only the clothes on his back. All the money gone.
When he couldn't hide anymore, he went home to his parents and that was when he was arrested. They locked him up for almost a year and it always bothered me that there was someone in jail because of something he had done to me. And I remember the police told us that if we droppped the case against the guy, he will released from jail. I decided it was time to forgive and move on...
After almost a month, my dad and I managed to get the other eight victims to sign his release papers. The agent calls me once in a while to say hello...and everytime he calls and says 'Thank you', I feel like I have done something good! And everytime I do something bad, I think of the agent and I feel better! My reward is knowing someone out there will be forever grateful to me...
When you forgive, those forgiven will forever be indebted to you. Isn't that sweet revenge?
After reading this you might say 'I don't care what Linda says...I will never forgive. What was done to me doesn't deserve forgiveness'. But here's something you need to know.There's nothing so bad that it can't be forgiven. Nothing!
And like someone once told me...you can never know how much you have been forgiven...until you forgive.
I will leave you with the words of Mahatma Gandhi
If one by one we counted people out
For the least sin, it wouldn't take us long
To get so we had no one left to live with.
For to be social is to be forgiving.
See y'all later