Grudges merely keep you in pain and destroy you and by holding a grudge it only leads you to resentment. Why should I forgive?
“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Malachy McCourt. Yet, by forgiving, you release the bitterness of resentment that has enslaved you for years.
A personal example of this is in my teaching practice. I have been a teacher since 1991 and I was having a little trouble with some students who were having relationship issues. I wanted to find out more about forgiveness and read an article on, truthtolive4.wrdpress.com how-heavy-are-your-potatoes-a-story-of-forgiveness and decided to try it with my teenage class of 16-year-olds.
I bought a sack of potatoes and clear bags to school. I told my students to pick a potato from the sack for everyone they couldn’t forgive. Many students chose one potato. One student chose four! Then, they labelled the clear plastic bags with a date and the name of the person they couldn’t forgive.
Some children had heavier bags than others. I told them to carry the potato bags for a week. During the week, they took these bags everywhere they went, like to private lessons, and they even put them next to their beds at night when they slept.
The students started to get upset and agitated by the experiment. After a week, the potatoes began to smell, rot, get slimy and heavier. Then after the week was over, I asked them if they would forgive those who hurt them and throw away the potatoes.
We discussed how releasing the pain and forgiving your abuser is doing yourself a favour. It has little to do with the other person.
We discussed quotes such as this one by Lewis Smedes: “To forgive is to set the prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”