As we head towards Easter, I notice that messages are all around about forgiveness. A while ago, a dear friend of mine gave me a fridge magnet which says ‘Holding a grudge is letting someone live rent free in your head’. She gave it to me as a prod because I’d been carping on about something that happened a number of years ago now, and that she felt it was time for me to forgive and move on. She was right.
I’m prompted to write about forgiveness once more following events in my lovely village during the last few weeks. I absolutely love my village and it is full of fantastic community-spirited and deeply creative people. We are the proud owners of a community shop and café which acts as a wonderful hub for village life and provides all sorts of services beyond the remit of a village shop.
Recently there were some concerns expressed about the way the shop was run and what could be done in the short term to generate more income. Without going into detail, over a two week period all sorts of views and opinions were expressed, with much passion, and increasing levels of finger-pointing. Friendships formed over many years were put under immense pressure, and when you live cheek by jowl in a small village, it makes for a challenging time.
The greater good has prevailed, thanks to compromise and forgiveness, and we are once more moving forward. How long the individual relationships take to repair will depend very much on willingness to forgive. I do know from personal experience that forgiving someone who hurts you is a very liberating experience. Letting go and embracing the forgiveness is like a breath of fresh air in your lungs, and you can focus on the great things to come rather than the horrid events of the past.