I've realized lately how very easy it is for people to generalize their 'enemies' as non-persons. They hurt me - therefore, they are evil minions. They have no reason behind their actions, they have no feelings, no heart, no emotion. They are simply pure evil.
And to be honest, I've done it too - ranted on about someone whose hurt me, been in a generally grumpy mood after being around someone difficult, breathed heavily and stormed across campus to get out for a walk after someone offends me.
It's absolutely selfish and ridiculous of me.
First of all, I'm not recognizing that, 1) This person probably has a reason for treating me as such - whether it's been the tipping point of an already bad day, the outward expression of some general inward pain, or perhaps payback for something I did earlier to hurt them, whether or not I know what this is. And 2) I'm just as guilty for speaking harshly, being opinionated and stubborn, and hurting people (although I admit, I can be really clueless about this - so tell me when I do!)
I guess that the most important thing that I can do is recognize that everyone, absolutely everyone, is human. We all mess up, we all make mistakes, we're all jerks at some point or another. Including me. If I don't forgive, then what kind of person am I? If I only love my friends, and not my enemies, then what makes me a better person than any other "schmo" - as my friend likes to call them? Even the meanest of people love the people who are nice to them. I'm no better than they are if I never give them a second chance. And I certainly hope others will do the same for me when I mess up - although I won't expect it.
Anyways, I'm going to confess that earlier in the semester, I'd been going through a really rough period and was taking it out by talking about the people who were hurting me/making life very difficult. But then I realized that I actually felt worse after doing that then I would have if I had just forgiven them.
And so, I ask for forgiveness for having not forgiven those people who I should have. And I'm trying hard to change that part of myself. No more complaining about life's difficulties - I'll start working on myself instead. And there's a lot of work to start on. Indeed.
Better start chipping away.