To forgive is to let go. In Aramaic the word is ‘shbag.’ It means to cancel, to let go, to untie. This roughly translates to a tool for changing a reality in your mind. The meaning is much richer in Aramaic. If I take full responsibility for what is in my mind and heart, I then have the opportunity to clear my mind of resentments, hurts, grudges, and wrongs. It has been said that forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different. If I forgive, I have the opportunity to let go of disruptive thoughts and feelings. No easy task for most of us. But we can practice.
All of us have the opportunity to practice forgiveness every day of our lives. Forgive the driver who cut you off. Forgive yourself for making a mistake. Forgive your parents for all their mistakes. Let go of your resentments. It has been said that resentments are like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Rather than resenting the slow cashier, just let it go. Do yourself a big favor. Just…let…go.
Underneath the anger and resentment you will find a belief that has caused you problems. That belief is usually, “Things should be (or should have been) different.” Question that belief. Is that belief bringing you the serenity that you desire? I love the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer used in Alcoholics Anonymous.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.