“Forgive Your Enemies…Nothing Annoys Them as Much!” —Oscar Wilde

It happens. Chances are; at least once in your lifetime, someone will betray you. Somewhere along the line, most of us experience the feeling of being let down by someone and we end up feeling sad, mad and most definitely, we feel like we’ve been had!

Since we are human, our emotions play a huge role in who we are. When we put our trust in someone and they don’t live up to our expectations, we get disappointed and hurt, and if we don’t deal with it in a healthy way, that resentment grows into a monster troll that can eat us up. Hanging on to anger and being an active participant in “blamestorming” can cause us to get stuck in a rut of despair.

When we think someone has “done us wrong,” it’s easy to hop onto the revenge train and imagine how we can get even or how we can punish the person responsible for our misery. Little evil gremlins sit on our shoulders and tell us that if we forgive, it is the same thing as giving a “free pass” to the person who hurt us. They tell us that we would feel better if only we could make the other person pay for what he or she has done.  When we listen to the nasty little voices, we are allowing toxic thoughts to poison our minds and our bodies. Negativity turns in to stress. Stress turns into illness. Making another person feel guilty can make us feel like we’re in control, but that’s a convoluted and sick kind of power. The healthier path is to get over yourself and put your ego aside!

The act that hurt you will always remain a part of your history because you can’t go back and erase it. But, choosing to forgive can allow you to focus on other positive parts of your life and even allow you to adopt a new and improved attitude about things. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are justifying the wrong, but it does mean that you are refusing to be a volunteer victim. It means that you are choosing to be bigger than the betrayal!

As a child, when I felt betrayed, I perpetrated my share of revenge acts…none too serious, thank goodness! Okay..I admit to burying Joey’s crayons in his glue bottle after he hurt my feelings, and I will own up to opening Ellen’s lunch box and taking bites out of her sandwich, when I found out she told a lie about me. But.as I grew older and the hurts seemed to run deeper; I learned that I can’t wait until I FEEL like forgiving because that day may never come. Forgiveness isn’t a feeling…it is a choice. And forgiveness is not so much to benefit the other person (who may or may not even realize they have hurt you) as it is for your own benefit! It feels good to release those trolls and gremlins and make space for happier thoughts!

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