Someone once said, “Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past” Why do I bring this up? Well, I know someone who is a master at holding grudges. The hurts of his past are regularly brought up and dwelt on again and again. I have come to realize that this is a habit that makes one a very unhappy person and sometimes unpleasant to be around.
I have been guilty of this behavior as well. I remember things that happened when I was in elementary school, junior high, high school, and a host of other times and occasionally trot out these hurts, large and small, and examine them. They hurt all over again. What good does this do me or my mood? Absolutely none. The offender does not suffer. The offender does not remember the offense, and most likely, the offender did not even recognize an offense was committed.
Holding a grudge only hurts me, it ruins my day and my life, and others may then consider me to be a negative person and try to avoid me. That is not how I wish to live. I have consciously chosen to drop those hurts, to try to forgive the offender. I find that by doing this, I am a much happier person.
But since it is amazingly difficult to make this change, I have adopted the practice of mindfulness when it comes to past hurts. I simply recognize that something once hurt me, and move on. I found that since adopting this habit, I truly am a happy person.
Today I learned of a mindfulness practice that may help others to simply notice and then move on. Get a bracelet – any bracelet will do. Put it on your wrist. When you notice the thought you are trying to eradicate, just notice it. Move the bracelet to your other wrist. This will help you to change a habit of dwelling on a thought into noticing the thought and moving on.
And remember this from the prayer that Jesus taught us, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
By the way, I researched the source of the quote and there is no definitive answer.