I have been in a position more than once where I have had to forgive someone. When the process of forgiveness first begins for me (it is almost always a process), I usually don't even want to forgive. The process moves along for me and eventually, I do completely and gladly forgive. Forgiveness, is not easy, but it is required especially if you want to live joyfully and in peace, absolutely if you want forgiveness yourself.
I have had many times when that process of forgiveness was very painful for me but it is far less painful than letting unforgiveness become bitterness. Bitterness is exactly what happens when you refuse to forgive someone. Bitterness is well documented by scientists as causing illnesses like cancer.
Bitterness is the kind of venom that causes good people to become mean and act ugly. Bitterness is a poison that spreads like a disease from one person to another. Bitterness becomes like a prison that holds the person and those around them hostage to it. Bitterness never has a good outcome. Think about someone you know who is bitter (we can all think of at least one) How much time do you enjoy spending with that person? Is that really how you want to be?
All of us have a choice when faced with forgiving someone who hurt us. We can become bitter or we can become better.
I choose better, and I hope you will too.
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