"A Sufi holy man was asked what forgiveness is. He replied: 'It is the fragrance that flowers give when they are crushed.'" Unknown

People wrong us all the time. It is a fact of life that we will be hurt by others. We have a choice in this hurt. We can hold onto anger, resentment, bitterness, vengeance, or hatred. But this does not lead to good for us.

Prolonged negative emotions lead to sadness, stress, anxiety, or depression. This is why it is often said that you forgive not for the sake of the person who wronged you, but you forgive because it is healthy for yourself.

We also forgive because we want others to forgive us. No one is perfect. We all wrong or hurt others, and we want to be forgiven for these actions. Therefore, we too must forgive. We must have grace for those who have hurt us just as we want them to have grace for us.

But perhaps the hardest part of forgiveness is forgiving ourselves. When we fail, when we stumble, when we relapse, when we inflict hurt or pain on others, when relationships are strained-- in these moments we blame ourselves. Feelings of self-loathing and self-hatred overcome us and we become our own enemy. But in these moments we must have grace for ourselves and allow mercy to the the healing salve to our self-inflicted wounds.

Are you harboring unforgiveness against anyone, including yourself? How can you take steps to show that person grace and mercy as you journey towards forgiveness?

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