Part of the process of living this life is that healing that comes from learning to “forgive” those who have hurt us, and forgiving ourselves for the hurt and pain we cause. It’s important one realizes that forgiving isn’t forgetting, as this is a two fold process. First it is making that choice, note “to forgive” is a choice based on your free will, you choose to forgive!! The forgetting is another process, as this process deals with our feelings. It takes time to resolve those negative feelings. It’s only normal to have these negative feelings from being hurt, yet in order to forget we have to accept and face what these feelings are about. We have to confront those “unforgiving feelings” with honesty and work through them. Otherwise, those negative feelings will begin to control your life, affecting not only your well being but those who come into your life.
It’s important that one realizes, that this process doesn’t mean that one isn’t responsible for their actions or the consequences, we all have that accountability. When we offer forgiveness, it doesn’t place the blame or imply malice. It’s that reaching out and inviting those back into our life. It’s also excepting that the relationship may not go back to what it was before. Keeping in mind, as it takes time for us to deal with our own feelings of hurt, we have to allow those we have hurt, that time to deal with those feelings and to heal themselves. There may be some hurts we may never forget, even though in time those open wounds can become scars.
When we choose to forgive someone, we have to offer that forgiveness unconditionally. I had a friend tell me, “I asked X for forgiveness and he stated he never would.” Throughout history we have seen families and nations suffer because of this “choice” of being unable to forgive. This act of forgiveness flows out of our inner attitudes that touch all of life and not just those in need of forgiving. Of all the choices we make in life, refusing to forgive or ask forgiveness may destroy more of life than any other single choice we make.