The mountain of hurts experienced from others throughout your lifetime has likely left you with some deep scars. Some are quick to say they not holding a grudge or resentments from abuse or being mistreated by others. Their words, however, are proof they are still nursing the wounds, even to the extreme, medicating the pain. Like one lady said regarding a friend who hurt her deeply;
“Oh yes, I forgave her alright, but let me tell you what that old devil did to me!”
What about the mountain of hurt you may have inflicted on others? It is, to me, more painful knowing I hurt or let others down. Now I have to ask their forgiveness, but also I have to forgive myself. That is much more difficult to do. I mean, I have to forgive myself or live with regrets rueing over my bad behaviors until remorse sets up fortress inside my heart. And it can, and does. At one time I didn’t care, let em’ think what they think of me, it’s their problem. I was very sick back then.
“To err is human, to forgive divine.” Alexander Pope
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Jesus
I believe the gateway to forgiveness is gratitude. I have discovered from my alcoholic past that being grateful for sobriety opened my spiritual eyes to see my fallen nature ruled me, thinking I was entitled to having everything, including my own way. When I didn’t get what I wanted, I became ungrateful for what I did have. I became envious of others success. I became angry at my job for not getting a promotion, and jealous even at my church for their blindness to my hard work for God… (oh what a baby). My solution, the bar stool and ears to agree with my whining.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
“When I started counting my blessings my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
When grateful, color seems to enter the world, sounds are heard, handshakes and embraces are sincere, suddenly purpose comes into play, and empathy becomes the heart mate of hope and love. Seeing those who hurt me, including myself in the mirror, as broken by life, poor upbringing, etc., with an understanding that only God’s Spirit within could give me. I also feel pressed to ask forgiveness to those I hurt. I am truly thankful for my awakening to the gateway of gratitude.
Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I hope you can take the time to be grateful for what you have. A life of gratitude is the gateway to forgiveness, and the mother of all virtue.