Sometimes I really struggle with being a forgiving person. In my formative years, I was a bit of a doormat and gave people chance after chance. Unfortunately some of those people, now no longer in my life, did not deserve those chances, and I have now learned to not be so accommodating. The scar this has left is that I have a tendency to feel hard done by as soon as anyone “wrongs” me. Sometimes I’m so keen to defend myself and be sure I’m not taken advantage of, that I see slights where none are intended; I feel pain at the slightest knock to my ego, and sometimes I really don’t see the funny side of what turns out to be genuine banter. Worse still, sometimes I try and hold people accountable for what turns out to be a true mistake or error on their part- the true knife is in the intent, and if there is no intent, how can there be a wound? Of course you can hurt others unintentionally, but kind words and apologies are time honoured remedies for this ill. And this is where forgiveness comes in. I need to hone the art of recognising when someone is genuine about their mistake, and make room inside for that little warm spot that swallows the hurt and transforms it, absorbs it; dissolves it with laughter, embarrassment or simply a kind word. Because the forgiveness not only reassures the instigator; it cools the fires within the one who got burned, divesting them of anger and making for a brighter, happier day.

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