This Wednesday, March 18th, is Forgive Mom and Dad Day. That we even have such a 'holiday' suggests that many of us harbor anger or resentment against our parents. Forgiving them sounds simple enough. But you know it isn't always so. There are small transgressions we can forgive — the day mom forgot to pick you up from school, or dad didn’t come through with that bike you’d wanted for Christmas — and then there are the bigger ones.
How do you forgive a parent who wasn’t there when you really needed them? Who didn’t value your talents? Who failed to put your needs ahead of their own? How many times did you yearn to be told you were awesome and instead, heard about your worthlessness? How often did those sharp, vengeful words echo in your mind, defining some of the life choices you made?
Forgive your parents? Never.
But let me share something I’ve learned about forgiveness. Forgiving someone is a gift you give yourself. When you hold on to anger and resentment, the only person it punishes is you. The anger you feel cannot change the past, it does not erase the hurt. Your anger cannot change the behavior of the person who hurt you. But it can create a bitterness inside you that grows like a cancer, festering and malignant.
Learning to forgive lifts that heavy burden that sits like a stone on your heart. Forgiveness allows you to breathe a little easier. Forgiveness allows you to love more deeply.
So let me tell you about my own journey. I’m hoping it might help you along your travels. Read this - A Gift From My Father. Then, begin to work on putting your own burden down. Because life is too short to keep a heart caged. Forgiveness will set you free.