Heavy is the heart burdened with injustice.

A miscommunication, an unfulfilled promise, or a hurt that can never be undone; it happens so easily. Words get said. Promises get broken. People never seem to behave in the ways we think they should—at least for very long.

I’d like to believe that at the core of our beings, we humans are mostly good. If given the choice between hate and love, or hurt and forgiveness, we would choose forgiveness every time. Choosing forgiveness opens us to experiencing the deepest levels of vitality; the richness that is love.

And yet, I myself am all too guilty of holding a grudge, of muttering, “I’m sorry,” but knowing the deeper, uglier truth is that I am not. That I just can’t let it go. It doesn’t matter what “it” is. Walls go up. Time goes by quickly. Relationships are lost.

A price must be paid. The costs are steep.

When we fail to forgive, all that is dark grows inside of us—anger, resentment, jealously, and worse. These emotions wear us down and rot our souls. Upset grows like a plague.

The hurt is great and the pain can be long.

“Forgive and forget,” Mother would encourage.

“Never go to bed angry,” were Dads words.

I learned to get over upsets quicker than most, and have often been seen as weak as result.  After all, “walk away,” says pride who doesn’t like to get hurt. And, “everyone is replaceable,” is the corporate world’s moto.

Instead, I learned  another way; a way that takes courage and starts in our hearts. When we breathe into empathy we tune into humanity. If we want access to healing, love, and true connection, we must acknowledgement the beautiful imperfections in all of us. Forgiveness allows us to suspend judgment of those who have hurt us.

A powerful art too easily taken for granted: forgiveness is like magic.

Forgiveness is not the act of forgetting or endorsing. Forgiveness is a stand we take for those in our lives. Forgiveness means saying what you mean to me is far more important than any single upset. When we forgive we embrace our own humanity.

Like a gift we give ourselves, forgiveness sets us free and enables us to experience juiciness that is the best in life.

Where is someplace in your life you could practice a little forgiveness?