Abraham Lincoln was asked how he was going to treat rebels after the civil war ended. His reply was, “I will treat them as if they had never been away.” Nelson Mandela was a victim of apartheid in South Africa. He spent many years in solitary confinement. He had every right to be bitter towards his persecutors. However, he knew that if he carried anger and bitterness through the prison doors, he would always be a slave to his own past and never be able to enjoy true freedom. He was able to remove the wall that held him back from true freedom and stop replaying the horrors of the past in his mind.
If you are unable to live in the present and discover all the blessings and happiness around you, it is because your mind is still focused on the past and the terribly wrong things you had been subjected to. If you want to experience your life to the full with all its wonderful hues and blessings, then forgiveness and letting go of the past is the key. It helps you perceive life in a better way and experience it fully. “Forgiveness is for yourself because it frees you. It lets you out of that prison you put yourself in,” says Louise L. Hay.
Forgiveness does not mean that you condone the behaviour of people who treated you badly. Rather, it means that you value your inner healing more than you value your right to feel victimized and the consequent right for revenge. The inherent power contained in forgiveness is that when you go through the difficult process of forgiveness, you experience freedom to realize your potential.
You need to forgive others, ask for forgiveness and forgive yourself because peace cannot exist without genuine forgiveness.
A girl was being treated for several months for anemia but without any success. Soon her doctor decided to send her to a sanatorium faraway. There she underwent a thorough physical examination. And the examining doctor found her blood count to be completely normal. The referring doctor double-checked it and could not believe his eyes. So he called in the girl and asked her, “Has anything out of the ordinary happened in your life since your last visit?
“Yes,” she admitted. “Suddenly I was able to forgive someone against whom I had borne a nasty grudge all my life. At that moment, I felt completely changed inside.”
So now the doctor knew the answer. Her mental attitude had changed, and the very state of her blood had changed with it Being angry at someone can be stupid, because the other person might not even be aware of it. So, the only one being harmed is our own self.