About three years ago, I came to the conclusion that I was only hurting myself by remaining angry with someone. I had a mediocre relationship with this person, and I doubt that they even knew what resentment I harbored toward them. What is so interesting is that the only person who was suffering was me. All the anger and blame I felt was only harming me. It didn't affect them at all. This person acted in a certain way, and I made the choice to react to their actions in a way that angered and disappointed me. In my reality, this person did act in ways that hurt me. I could live the rest of my life angry, but that would only be causing me pain. I was wasting so much of my energy on these unhealthy feelings. By forgiving their actions, I released the anger and freed up all that energy to be put to better use. They never even knew that I had forgiven them. Sometimes it is not important to have that conversation, and it is enough for you to do in your heart. Please note that forgiveness DOES NOT CONDONE anyone's actions. It doesn't mean you tell the person that what they did was o.k. Forgiveness says, "I forgive you and release these unhealthy bonds of anger and resentment." You forgive someone for YOU, not them. Give yourself that gift. I guarantee that true forgiveness feels like having someone lift a 100-pound weight off your shoulders.
I practice forgiveness often. Sometimes with others, but many times with myself. I have found that I need to forgive myself for things, which releases blocks in my path. Whether forgiving yourself, loved ones, or strangers that cut you off on the freeway, forgiveness is a dish best served warm. Warm, loving feelings and uncontrollable smiling are often the side-effects of forgiveness. And it's not just for breakfast anymore.