softening the heart
The most amazing things about life are the adventures we go on — the ones we embark upon and the ones that carry us away, without consultation, and leave us somewhere we hadn’t planned on being, yet still appreciate. It happens all the time, and the journeys can be internal or external.
Right now, I’m on such a journey. A spontaneous visit to my favorite bookstore in the city led me to a book called Why Forgive? that I picked up to gift a friend. Sometimes, we choose books, and sometimes, books choose us; this book chose me, and I’m so very grateful it did.
On my commute home, I began reading it and was almost immediately touched. It’s impossible to read and not get a bit emotional. Since my contact with Why Forgive?, I’ve been on a forgiveness spree. It dominates my thoughts. I’ve been letting go of grievances both large and small and exercising more empathy. We’ve all hurt others. We’ve all inflicted wounds and caused unintended damage.
- Because it frees you of your present anger about past incidents.
- Because not forgiving punishes you more than the person you’re holding your grudge against.
- Because it lightens your spirit and puts you on the path to peace.
- Because it allows you to enjoy life more. You can’t be happy harping over grievances…or guilt.
- Because you need to be forgiven.
- Because you get what you give.
- Because people make mistakes, even obvious and big. No one is always who they want to be.
It’s not always easy and it definitely happens in its own time. It is a process, not a single occurrence, and it does require effort. For me, there’s been a bit of a domino effect. Forgiving one person has led to me beginning to forgive others, including myself. I’ve been acknowledging the pain I’ve caused others and stopped beating myself up about my regrets. What’s done is done, but what I can do right now is be a better and bigger person. It’s a tall order, but I’m up to it.
Instead of letting this world callous me, I choose to soften my heart. I hope you do, too.
The publisher offers Why Forgive? as a free ebook here.