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How Forgiveness Can Set You Free

Steve by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr CC

Today a guest post from Anda Tudor from  Anda shares a wonderful parable about forgiveness.

Even to the kindest, forgiveness does not come easy. The feeling of bitterness, of having been wronged, and the desire to take revenge is almost tangible.  Although it seems hard, forgiveness sets you free. As Coach Bob Proctor puts it ‘It doesn’t matter where you are; you are nowhere compared to where you can go.’

A teacher once asked her students to bring a sack to class. Intrigued, everyone brought a sack and found a mountain of potatoes on the teacher’s desk. There was laughter and sniggering and much speculation about what the assignment would be.

The teacher then asked each one of them to make a list of people they couldn’t forgive, and then to take one potato for each name.  Soon, the mountain disappeared and the teacher had to call for additional potatoes. Then, the students wrote one name on each potato.  When the students were done, she asked them to put all the potatoes in the sack and carry it around with them at all times for three days. Whether they were heading to the store or going on a date, the sack had to be with them.

After the third day, the teacher asked about their experiences.  In a word, it was horrible.  It was such a fuss to carry the sack at all times;  people stared and laughed. The students couldn’t enjoy their time properly, feeling self conscious and judged.

The teacher smiled and said that the sack of potatoes is the mental and spiritual burden you carry when you don’t forgive others. You are never truly free or  at peace in your life  unless you shed these past inhibitions and move on.

It is difficult to forgive others, and some do not deserve our forgiveness but by not forgiving them, you are the one carrying the burden around, not them. ‘Issue a blanket pardon. Forgive everyone who has ever hurt you in any way. Forgiveness is a perfectly selfish act. It sets you free from the past’- Brian Tracy

What has been your experience with forgiveness?  Did you ever feel that it lifted a burden from your back?

Guest poster Anda Tudor Anda Tudor is the Public Relations Manager of, the first open network for coaches, consultants and advisors.  You can learn more about and it’s services for individual and career growth here.