“Forgiveness is really about absolution: to set free. But if you look carefully at the dynamic, the one you’re setting free is yourself.” 

― Darrell Calkins

There seems to be alot of anger in the world today. Not a day goes by where I don’t meet someone who isn’t angry about something, be it politics, the economy, their co-workers on the job, their family, even anger towards themselves.

Seems everyone has a beef about something they can’t seem to resolve. They’re trapped, unable to escape their angst and expect any resolution from their anger to lay in someone else’s hands and, until that other someone changes, there is no forgiveness, no inner peace.

The opposite of free is to be trapped or caught, held prisoner, enslaved. 

To set free means to release, to let go.

When you don’t forgive someone, you continue to hold a grudge against them for some hurt they’ve caused you. But who is going to suffer the most, them or you? Are you not letting the situation control you, to make you captive to your anger, trapped and enslaved by your own emotions?

When we forgive others their errors, sins, or shortcomings we free them from any quilt they may suffer towards us – but at the same time, we free ourselves to let go of the anger and the barrier we have erected between us and them.

And then there’s the question of self-forgiveness.

To not forgive ourselves of some perceived failure or weakness is to allow ourselves to be a prisoner to ourselves, trapped in self-guilt and the anger that accompanies it. It is a form of self-flagellation. I suppose some must enjoy masochism, receiving some sort of erotic pleasure in their never-ending self-whippings, but I’m not one of them.

Anger, whether received from without or generated from within, hurts.

Pain doesn’t turn me on and I avoid it at all costs.

I’ve found that forgiving myself makes it is easier to forgive others.

And my life a whole less painful.

If I were to make a New Year’s resolution as 2016 comes to a close, it would be to start the new year with a clean slate.

By freeing others and freeing myself of my anger, they and I may find some peace.

So I forgive forgive myself of all the pain I may have caused others, I forgive any others for the pain they’ve caused me, and I forgive myself for the pain I’ve caused myself, anger at my own shortcomings.

Happy New Year.

– Bill


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