“I FORGIVE YOU”… and the power of letting go of hate.

I had some tears in my eyes, and was touched deeply in watching a video of some of the victims of the Charleston church shooting speak to the murderer, who killed their family and friends, and say “I FORGIVE YOU. You’ve hurt me, and taken something precious from me, but I forgive you.”

I couldn’t help but ask myself, would I be able to forgive if someone killed or hurt someone I love?

But we’ve all been hurt, haven’t we. By the unconscious or malicious actions of others we have suffered because of what they have done to us, or to those we care about. They may hurt us physically, or emotionally by saying mean things, or by stealing from us something that’s important.

So what do you do with that pain when someone hurts you like that?

I believe that there is power and freedom in forgiveness… that it is the only path to peace.

And in the end, forgiveness isn’t for the person who hurt us, but rather, forgiveness is what sets US free.

When we hold onto bitterness, anger, judgment, and hate, it breeds this heavy darkness within our own soul, like an acidic cancer that gnaws at us from the inside out.

As long as we choose to be the “victim” and hold onto it, it will eat us alive and rob us of the treasured peace we seek…

The only path to peace then is to RETURN TO LOVE and offer forgiveness freely, whether the other person “deserves” it or not.

By forgiving we say:

“I will not let this continue to haunt me.
I will not continue to give you power over my life
I will not continue to hold onto the past, I choose to let it go so that I can create a new future
I will not give into hate, I am more than that
I will not be your judge, I will leave that up to God
I will not let my history hold me hostage
I know you’re not perfect, and I’m not perfect either, but I can still love you. I can still see you as a child of God.”

I CHOOSE TO BE FREE. I CHOOSE TO LET GO. I CHOOSE LOVE.”

If you look in your life, and see yourself hanging on still to something that hurt you in the past, maybe now is the time to look at it, and decide if you want to keep holding onto it, or simply let it go.

Forgiveness is the gateway to freedom.

Thank you to the families affected by the Charleston shooting who reminded me today of what it looks like to choose to be a VICTOR rather than a victim.

– g
“you have one life to live, LIVE BIG.”

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