By Mohan Karulkar:

I once had two good friends, a guy and a girl. I liked the girl, but she liked him.  You can guess what happened next. It wasn"t pretty.

I didn"t speak to either of them for years.  There were times that I thought of reconnecting -- of forgiving -- but I didn"t.  Bitterness was just too easy.

Why?  Because I didn"t know what would happen next.

Would I have to be friends with them again?
Would I even want to?
Would they be angry with me?
Would I open up old wounds?

I just didn"t slot machine know, and fear kept me silent.

That fear keeps a lot of us silent, doesn"t it?   Bitterness, that slow poison drink, becomes almost comforting in the way it maintains the status-quo.  Forgiveness, on the other hand, seems a terrifying unknown.  What will it feel like not to hate?  And how deep will my forgiveness need to go?

The truth is, after years of stalling, I actually did reach out to my former friends.  I forgave, and to be honest, not a whole lot happened.  We talked, we drifted away, and that was it.

The bitterness, though, faded away too.  I stopped having random memories of our friendship and fight.  I stopped wondering if things could have turned out differently.  I moved on with my life.

Forgiveness, that great unknown, turned out to be freedom.

I know a lot of people nursing that same poison drink this very second.   Heck, I kind of know an entire city doing it.  And man, it breaks my heart.  Bitterness is easy, but it"s also a prison.  Forgiveness is scary, like tearing off an old bandage, but there"s freedom in it.

Today, put down the poison drink; choose forgiveness, and be free.

Share your story -- your poison drink or your moment of freedom.

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