One of my favorite teachers said that carrying a grudge is an injury we do to ourselves that’s on top of the original injury that was inflicted on us.

Forgiveness is a gift to ourselves. It’s a process of self-healing. It’s also a gift to the people around us, and to the whole planet. I’ve heard a saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” By doing forgiveness work (and yes, it is WORK, usually), we heal our inner wounds that might otherwise cause us to injure other people.

And, forgiveness is separate from one’s decision about whether or not to choose to have further interaction with the person who injured us. We might choose to keep spending time with them, or we might not.

If I choose (from a calm clear place, having done my inner work of forgiveness) to tell the person the effect their pattern is having on me, it gives the person an opportunity to wake up to their injurious pattern. They might wake up right then, or years later. Or never!

And a final note – I have been both Person A and Person B, many times.

Forgiveness work is priceless. So is being given an opportunity to wake up and change.

Unforgiveness — grudges carried around — can lead to violence in many forms, from assault and murder, to emotional injury, to self-medication via hyper-consumption that’s killing the biosphere.