In the course of our lives many of us are led to think about how we can renew ourselves? How do we leave the negative aspects of our past behind us and move to a more improved version of ourselves? Well, we can renew ourselves by renewing our relationships. The renewal of our relationships happen when we engage in the process of forgiving and being forgiven. This is a most fundamental requirement of any process of personal growth. It is a cornerstone of true liberation; one that comes from an acknowledgement of the truth that we are nowhere near being perfect, and neither are the other folks in, or who have been in our lives. We are flawed, and so are they. The barriers to moving forward are inherent in this fact. Yes, this is the self-evident truth of our existence. And it must be dealt with before anything else. Our barriers become stumbling blocks when we attempt to deny that they are there.
We have all heard that confession is good for the soul, it is a cornerstone of our viability as whole persons. Any attempt to build our lives without it will fail. The stumbling blocks that once characterized our interactions however, can become stepping-stones. This becomes possible when we cultivate the wisdom and the courage that are necessary to liberate us from the bad experiences that prevent us from moving forward. As our elders have told told us; speak the truth…call the devil a liar. Release yourself from the overwhelming coercion of not daring to live with the authenticity that being willing to confess your faults brings to your life.
When we are able to speak the truth without malice, we will experience liberation. Truth that is told with healing intent acts as a tonic, as an elixir, and as an antidote. It makes us stronger. It restores our joy. Ultimately, it is the remedy we need for what ails us. Our redemption, our wholeness as human beings, hinges on the necessary work of forgiveness. Our restoration to a state of good spiritual, emotional, and physical health as individuals, as communities, and as a nation is dependent on our ability and willingness to engage in the genuine acts of forgiveness.
To paraphrase a well- known piece of wisdom from Nelson Mandela; to harbor resentment against others is like drinking a poison and hoping it will kill our enemies. Think about that for a moment. It is well said, by whomever had the wisdom to realize it... Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. We do it for ourselves so that we can get better and move on.