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Winning Words

Get off the fence when it comes to forgiveness


If you do not have anyone in your life that you need to or should forgive, or if you have no reason to be forgiven yourself, you may want to skip this column today. However, if you believe that there are one or more people who you would feel better about forgiving, and if there are any people that you believe could offer you forgiveness, then this column is for you and I invite you to keep reading.

For me personally, I like to believe that I am very good at forgiving others, regardless of the hurt or misunderstanding. And as far as being forgiven by others, let’s just say that is a work in progress for now as I work on my own forgiveness fences.

So what is a forgiveness fence? It is that barrier that we place between ourselves and those who have hurt us in some way, large or small. It’s that fence that we want to stay behind until we receive a proper apology. It’s that wall that holds us hostage from forgiving others and freeing ourselves from the pain, the exhaustion of the battle, and inability to move forward.

The forgiveness fence is also what separates others from forgiving us. It is an obstruction to allowing us to forgive ourselves. The forgiveness fence grows wider and higher with each day that passes where we cannot forgive ourselves and where others will not forgive us for whatever reason. The forgiveness fence is built by both parties so that we can live in the anguish of not forgiving or we can stand on the other side of the fence feeding a grudge that needs to go away.

I am sure you have heard the saying when someone is torn between two options, they say something like, “I am on the fence about that.” Well, how many of us are riding the fence on forgiveness? We know we should give it, we are so close, we are right there, we are on top of the fence, all we need to do is get to the other side.

You may not agree with me on this next statement, however I believe that we make forgiveness harder than it has to be, don’t we? And the longer we withhold it, the longer we go on refusing to forgive others or ourselves, the wider and higher that fence grows. To make things easier, we don’t have to worry about scaling a wall or climbing a fence, all we have to do is “be” the door. Did you catch that? We don’t build a door or construct a gate, we are the door, we are the gateway to forgiveness. We own that step.

Forgiveness is freedom. Forgiveness is freeing. Forgiveness costs us nothing — it is free.

So how about you? Are you riding the fence of forgiveness or are you enjoying the freedom of forgiveness? I would really love to hear your forgiveness stories at gotonorton@gmail.com. And when we can be the gateway to forgiveness, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.


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