columbia cottage president

Message from the President: Forgiveness

I try to start each day reading, even on the weekends, a daily devotional that my wife gave me for my 50th birthday or listening to a quick 10-minute meditation session.  For me, it helps to realign my perspective and attitude to life’s many challenges.  A recent session was discussing the concept of forgiveness.  The narrator spoke softly and began by stating the simple fact that we have all felt the sting of hurtful words or harmful actions and whether the person meant to hurt us or not, the resulting pain is real.  If we are lucky, a sincere apology follows, and that is enough to help us move forward.  But when sorry never comes, we are left reliving the situation again and again in our mind, with mounting resentment.   The message then focused on the realization that if we don’t practice forgiveness, we are the one left with the burden of anger and bitterness.  Forgiveness isn’t meant to erase what has happened instead; it is a decision to let go of the resentment we are holding on to.  In other words, choosing to forgive doesn’t deny the other person’s role in hurting us and it doesn’t minimize or excuse the wrongdoing but what it does do is create the opportunity for us to find peace.  When the meditation session ended, I recalled a small verse I recently came across which covered the topic of forgiveness and encouraged us to recite the following, “Today, I decided to forgive you, not because you apologized or because you acknowledged the pain that you caused me but because my soul deserves peace.”  So, when you find yourself on the receiving end of hurt, even though it is not easy, make forgiveness an intention; for as you forgive, you will set yourself free.

Jim