Learning to Forgive

Lindsey DeBruin, Staff Writer

“Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth. Forgiveness gives you back the laughter and the lightness in your life.” – Joan Lunden

As I pulled up to the student parking lot on the my first, last day of school, I already had an attitude. I was not excited for another year at Forest Hills Central or to deal with the stresses and people that accompany it. I was a ball of hatred on that first day of school.

Hatred sometimes can stem from boredom with our own lives. We can become so uninterested in the steady beat of our humdrum days that we set to fix ourselves on something to focus all that pent up energy on. It becomes a form of entertainment throughout the day. How many times will I see this person today? How many times can I glare at them without them noticing?

Hatred can manifest itself out of insecurity.  It might make you feel good to hate someone, because what makes you feel more accepted than discrediting someone else’s existence?

Hatred can arise because of other people around you. If it is the social norm to hate someone, chances are you’re going to develop a hatred for them too.

Hatred also comes from individual motivations. Maybe the object of your hatred is deep rooted and can be backed up with a MLA formatted essay with in-text citations from numerous sources.

And possibly your hatred has no explanation whatsoever. Maybe you’re just an angry person looking to project those feelings onto another innocent bystander. After all, hatred is so much easier to feel than love.

I can honestly say that I have been all of these people at one point in my life or another. Whether I had reason to or not, I have projected my hatred onto someone or something that I probably shouldn’t have. But if there is anything that the first month or so of my senior year has taught me, it is that forgiveness is so essential to the well-being of others just as much as it is to yourself.

It is only until recently have I decided that resentment is stupid. Holding a grudge is stupid. Hating someone for something so miniscule that happened years ago is stupid. Being angry for no other reason than to be angry is stupid and the only way that you can eliminate the idiocy of blind hatred is to start with forgiveness.

Once you can forgive yourself for being so bitter, your muscles relax a bit. Once you can forgive the person who has beaten you down for so long, your headache is suddenly alleviated. Once you can forgive people for making normal mistakes that seem inconvenient to you, your jaw is finally able to unclench. Loving yourself, and then in turn others as well, becomes so much easier once you learn to let go of all the anger your have for people that you feel did you wrong. Even if you don’t think that someone deserves forgiveness because of all the hurt they have caused, believe me when I say that the weight of the chip on your shoulder is not worth the emotional disintegration of hatred that you believe they deserve.

Learn to forgive, and life comes as easy as it once did when you were a carefree child.