"Forgive those who have hurt you. I forgive people, but that doesn’t mean I trust them. I just don’t have time to hate people who hurt me, because I’m too busy loving people who love me. The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to move forward is the happiest. Be brave. Be strong. Be happy. Be free."

People say and do things that hurt us, whether intentional or not. It can be someone we don’t know, and unfortunately, someone we do know, such as a friend, family member or lover. But after the hurt, how we go forward with that hurt will determine whether our heart moves towards forgiveness and healing or anger and a “wound” that will eventually fester.

We dwell on how others have hurt us because it’s easier than forgiveness; it’s difficult to put our feelings and emotions aside when we’ve been wronged or spoken to in a hurtful manner. Anger usually follows the hurt and it becomes easier to justify not forgiving the person that has betrayed us and caused us pain. That anger then turns into a grudge and we feel that we are punishing the person who hurt us by not talking to them or staying away from them.

In actuality, we are only hurting ourselves. Grudges are negative and can only lead to dis-ease in ones life; it will literally become a “cancer” in the heart and will eat away at the love and compassion that is there. Staying in a state of un-forgiveness is being in victim mode and is not a happy place to be in. Seeking revenge or trying to hurt them back will never right the wrong or allow the hurt to heal and may actually block blessings that would otherwise come our way as well as not attracting or losing relationships that would bring us happiness.

Though we can’t control what others do or say, we can control how we let it affect us in the long term. Forgiveness requires us to take our eyes off ourselves and through compassion, release that person from the hold they have on us; our anger really only hurts us, not them. We must look at the person and the situation through our heart, forgive them and move on. We need to focus on the positive that will result from letting go of the anger and hurt by our forgiveness. We can then heal and look forward to a more joyful life. ~ ©2014 T. A. Garcia

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