I am not bound by my pain.

Inner strength is undoubtedly built by learning to forgive. At first glance, it may not seem like these two characteristics have anything to do with each other but stick with me here. How easy is it to hold a grudge against someone who has wronged us?

Wait, I really want everyone to understand HOW incredibly important this is. I’m going to examine the exact definition of “grudge”, because I know there’s someone reading this thinking how dramatic that sounds. “Grudge” is defined as, “a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.” Now, resentment is in bold because I believe that’s the feeling that is more prominent as opposed to “ill will”. “Resentment” is defined as “bitter indignation (anger or annoyance) at having been treated unfairly.” Is that definition maybe ringing a few more bells? I think so.

It is EASY to feel angered or annoyed by someone who we believe has treated us unfairly. I know it’s easy because I spent the majority of my life feeling resentful towards people I felt wronged me. This is applicable to all relationships- family, friend and otherwise. Admittedly, I didn’t think this was a problem. I thought it was a perfectly normal response and I had no qualms about this.

But at some point, I got tired of my body automatically evoking negative emotions at the mention of a name.
I got tired of feeling my stomach churn every time I passed a familiar landmark on the road that brought back memories.
I got tired of having to filter my own thoughts to save myself from feeling so bitter.
In short, I grew tired of being angry.

What I hadn’t realized was that every time I held resentment in my heart, it came with a price. Not only did I sacrifice my peace of mind, I added an almost literal WEIGHT on my shoulders. I’d take one step ahead, “leaving” people in the past, only to sink deeper in the sand below because of the added weight. I was working 100x harder than I should have been, and not going anywhere. Not only was I not moving forward, the little progression that was made included the weight I was carrying. That weight made its way into other relationships and the domino effect continued. I may not have realized it, but the repercussions of holding onto those feelings of resentment trickled their way down through nearly every facet of my life.

I really need this last part to sink in for anyone reading.

The energy you will waste on resenting someone who wronged you is not worth your freedom. Yes, I did mean to type freedom. That bitterness is BINDING you to a life of negativity, stagnation, and weakness.

Forgiveness is freedom.

To “Forgive” is defined as, “to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake.”

Flaws – How many of us have them?

Mistakes- How many have we made?

Trust me, I KNOW it’s hard to comprehend how someone who says they care about you can hurt you; however, as soon as you accept the fact that your worth is not dependent on whether or not you can comprehend why or how they hurt you, the easier you will find it to let go. As much as I talk about selflessness, you can disregard that in this post. Forgiveness is ALL. ABOUT. YOU. You deserve it. You owe it to yourself.

Your freedom depends on it.

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Alex Charles
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Excellent post. I definitely have struggled with this at times. The energy used to resent someone or hold a grudge could be better spent recovering, rebuilding and restoring our own lives to a point stronger than before!

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