This holiday always poses an interesting question for me: Can I really forgive someone who has wronged me? Of course, I am not talking about overwhelmingly traumatic acts that are unforgivable -- genocide; physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; and other crimes that harm innocent victims. Although there are amazing people who can forgive even these things,
One thought I have about this is rather obvious. It's the old "you always hurt the one you love" thing. So I get how it is hardest to forgive a friend who has betrayed us.
But lately, I have come to believe the power to forgive is always mine. Exercising that power makes me stronger, not weaker. It definitely makes me happier. Like Elsa from Frozen, my mantra is "Let it go."
There's a lot of power in forgiveness.
Over many years as a preschool director, working with countless parents and teachers, I learned another truth about forgiveness. Much of the time, it turns out the hurtful behavior really had little to do with the target of the behavior. When co-workers or parents or teachers were attacked in various situations it was typically a projection of unhappiness elsewhere in that person's life.
So back to the question of whether I can forgive someone who has hurt me: My answer is a resounding "yes." In fact, it goes beyond "Can I do it?" to "I must do it to lead a happy and meaningful life." The harder task is to forgive myself for the wrongs I have done to others.
Gmar Hatimah Tovah.
May you be sealed in the Book of Life!