Why is Forgiveness Hard?


I am baffled by the inability of people to forgive over petty things! I have recently tried to "bury the hatchet" with people whom I have had quite petty differences, only to find them unable to do so on their end. This transcends my comprehension as I find forgiveness to come quite naturally, especially over petty differences. Even when I resolve to hold a grudge I find it hard to do so. What makes people unable to forgive?

—Brock, USA


Dear Brock,

The ability to forgive is born of strength within ourselves. If we are fearful of being hurt (or hurt again) by someone, we close our hearts and build barriers to letting love and acceptance flow to them.

Swami Kriyananda has written, “Forgiveness is the sword of victory! When we forgive those who seek to hurt us, we rob them of their very power to do us harm. Better still, if they respond with love, they will unite their strength to ours, and so our strength becomes doubled.”

If people are unwilling to “bury the hatchet,” let them know that on your part you have left the issue behind you. Still we need to respect their process and give them the time they need to forgive.