How do I become more forgiving?

For decades I have cherished a grudge against someone.It started as hatred because of a low stroke. And in fact it was frustration because that person had sidelined me with an effective action at an organization I had worked with for years and with a lot of dedication.

I felt deceived, burdened, abused my trust.I couldn’t put it over. Not only could I not forgive it, I was actively trying to conceive a retaliatory action. Decades. Until I finally realised that that carried along hate had harmed me much more than those. In fact, it probably had no know of it at all. Of others who had worked with it in the past, I found out that this was the normal way of operating: only out on its own advantage.

When I was young, a year or ten, I stole money from my fathers coat bag with some regularity.He had loose money in there to buy cigarettes or other little things. In contemporary money it might be a euro or eight, because cigarettes were very cheap then. But for me it was a huge amount of money.

I think it had taken a month, that I had taken away the size of my pocket money, from the jacket that hung in the hallway on the coat rack.There was then a fad among guys to gather plastic horses and cowboys and Indians and that way that was going to gather twice as fast.

Until I was called to my parents one evening after dinner.”Have you stolen money from Daddy’s jacket?” my mother asked. I don’t remember how I responded, probably first denied and then confronted with purchases that I couldn’t justify. I also don’t remember how my parents responded exactly. I still know very well how I felt the shame that I had stolen my own parents.

I got no punishment except that I got a time (I think six weeks or so) but half my pocket money.They have never said anything about it and I have never done it again. They also did not say to my siblings, which would have been the worst shame. They had forgiven me. I will ask my mother tonight what she remembers after fifty five years of that incident. I think she has forgotten it, because six children educate, of course, offers a lot of learning moments.

But I was very happy that I got a new chance from my parents.I was also surprised, because my parents were generally quite strict and a beating if I and my brother made noise in the evening instead of going to sleep, was still in the occasional. Well, in practice probably not more often than once or three per year.

From my parents I learned the value of forgive.People who are worth to me can also make a mistake. That I could not have been able to do that later with that colleague was, of course, because I had not yet achieved that degree of forgiveness. Well, I never forgive, but I cherish no more hatred.

Actually, how I get there now, that I am aware of my own imperfections and that I finally understand that others have theirs.Sometimes worse, sometimes less bad, because there are better and worse people than me.

Family, friends, I can forgive.That is starting again, not coming back. Politicians and people who act unreliable in professional relationships, I measure the standards that apply in these professions. That is not really forgiving, more understanding and accepting that the world works so.

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