Why Bother to Forgive?
The original title of my book was Snapshots. Then, after one of my endorsers read it, she suggested the present title: A Heart’s Journey to Forgiveness. I will be forever grateful for her insights. The book truly is an account of a long, and arduous pilgrimage from unforgiveness to forgiveness.
Resentment, bitterness, and hard feelings toward someone is not easy to admit, especially when the feelings are associated with parents. I was taught to honor and respect my parents, not blame them for my pain.
I knew that disregarding the rage that simmered inside of me would not assist me with healing from the emotional pain of a father who abandoned me by ending his life and a mother who was emotionally absent. Yet, I had no idea of how to make peace with my past.
The catalyst that finally led me to forgiving my parents, healing my heart and walking with equanimity occurred when our oldest turned into a rebellious teenager. Those stormy years as the mother of a prodigal son taught me that when someone you love hurts you, letting them off the hook helps you to heal.
When I stepped over the threshold from unforgiveness to forgiveness, I was surprised. Not only did my heart feel a buoyancy it had never felt before, there was also a plethora of other benefits. First of all, it released me from the load of bitterness I’d carried for years. Secondly, forgiveness gave me empathy and compassion, softening and smoothing out some of my rough edges. I’ve grown into a more affable and understanding person. Just ask my husband.
Now that I’ve experienced the effects of both unforgiveness and forgiveness, I know the best thing to do is to forgive.
Why bother to forgive? Forgiveness is the remedy that, when applied to our offenders, keeps us free from resentment and bitterness.