Iyanla Vanzant in her acceptance speech at the McDonald’s 365Black Awards said something so poignant that really stuck with me. “Forgive everybody, for everything.”
Vanzant stated that this is one of the three principles that she lives by in life. Well it made me think about forgiveness in relationships. So many of us have a hard time with forgiveness not only in our romantic relationships but platonic, professional and the like. But I have learned that forgiveness is surely one of the keys to survival.
The first and most important thing when it comes to forgives is the realization that we are not perfect. Once you accept in humility that you have the ability to hurt someone, disappoint someone, or let a person down, I think it makes it a lot easier to forgive others. Most often in relationships we hear about someone cheating. It’s like somehow when this happens all the other person’s indiscretions and mishaps are out the window. Have you been the perfect mate? Everyone has certain things that they can’t take, I certainly understand that and I am not urging anyone to stay with someone who has wronged them. However, I will always urge folks to look at the whole picture in their relationships and not just one action.
The second thing I think is extremely important when it comes to forgiveness in a relationship is learning how to forgive quickly. Constantly there will be spats, miscommunications, and disagreements but I have found that the quicker you get over them, the better off you’ll be. I personally can hold on to things. Sometimes I think that we are just “highly developed” as Pastor Rochelle Brown would say in being angry. But newsflash! No one wants to be with a person who always has an attitude and can’t get over the small stuff. I often find myself asking “Is this something that I want to ruin my whole day?” And if not, it’s water under the bridge.
Lastly, I think that often we think forgiving someone, means keeping them in our lives. That is certainly not the case. Sometimes we have friends, relationships, etc. for seasons and it can just be time to MOVE on. But forgiveness is a heart thing. Sometimes we say we forgive someone but we still have feelings of unrest when that person comes around. We are sucking our teeth, rolling our eyes, but “acting” like everything is all good. Well you are fooling no one! And harboring those feelings just eat away at your joy, not the person that you are mad with. Let it go. Life is really too short, no matter how many times people tell us that, we don’t believe it. We cannot continue to sweat the small stuff and give OTHER people power over our lives in that way.
Forgive someone today. It may not be right away but start working on it. Forgive the cashier with an attitude, forgive your mom for meddling, forgive your spouse or significant other for their carelessness but express what’s important to you so they can get it right the next time. By forgiving others you are opening your life up to so much grace and mercy from God. Do not be bound in unforgiveness, in my humble opinion, it’s a silent killer.