“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
It takes a certain sense of maturity to forgive. It seems that the greater the offense against you, the more time, persistence, and overall effort is required to commit to accepting an apology.
Forgiving without an apology.
For most of my pre-teen and teenage years, I had a rough relationship with my mom. She was of the generation of parents that were more than happy to, for lack of a better phrase — smack the hell out of — “bad” kids.
Of course, being on the receiving ends of physical discipline was not so pleasant. Even worse, I wasn’t always sure that my pain was warranted and questioned my mom’s authority rather often. In a way, I was just being a difficult child, but I also feel that there is a certain amount of “punishment” a child should be expected to tolerate.
In the end, it isn’t very important how I felt or whether either of us was out of line, what mattered was getting past that discomfort and rebuilding a relationship.
Understanding this certainly did not come easily. Honestly, my mother and I still don’t really have much to say to one another. We had a civil phone conversation for my birthday and I am generally polite to her, but I guess memories of my sarcastic attitude has her holding her tongue to keep things cool. Still, we have managed to smooth things over and forgive each other for most of the things we used to do to piss each other off.
This is important mostly because it is a shame to have a burnt bridge standing between you and a parent, but also because the mental overhead of supporting a faux vendetta against your mother (I was a really upset kid) is heavy and causes terrible stress. By giving up grudges and bad blood you stand to relieve yourself of unnecessary weight that is most definitely holding you back in life.
I know it’s hard to forgive, I experience it myself — constantly. Yet, every time I muster up the strength to forgive and accept, my capacity to do so grows. Ask yourself.
Can you really afford to keep holding grudges?