Forgiveness is letting go of the hope for a better or different yesterday.
According to Merriam-Webster’s definition, it is “to cease to feel resentment against (an offender).”
When one chooses to forgive, others may see it is condoning; however, the definition of condoning, according to Merriam-Webster, is “to treat as if trivial, harmless, or of no importance.”
If we are to believe these two words are alike, it would be impossible to forgive because who would or want to trivialize a horrible event?
What I’ve Learned About Forgiveness
I have learned, through years of grief, that forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with my well-being.
Forgiveness is an action, not a feeling. One cannot feel forgiveness unless you have forgiven. It is the act of letting go of resentment held against another.
Some may then say: I can forgive but I cannot forget. To that, it’s wise to ask then, has the transgression truly been forgiven? Who is the one who continues to remember and whose life is blocked by a lack of forgiveness?
Over the past few years, I’ve had to work hard at forgiveness. Not only that, I’ve experienced a lack of understanding when I’ve been able to forgive, and others in my life have not.
No one else needs to understand your willingness and openness to forgive. You and you alone know your heart and what it needs. We all walk the road of forgiveness in our own time. Let no one tell you that you’re wrong for offering forgiveness (in the silence of your heart).
What Not To Do with Forgiveness
To that point, never ever feel as though you must verbalize your forgiveness in person. You potentially open yourself up for more hurt and pain if you offer unsolicited forgiveness as the other person may see this as an attack. Remember: forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person.
On the other side of forgiveness is requesting it. When you ask for forgiveness, you are asking the other person to do something that you need to do for yourself. Because, when you’re the one asking for forgiveness, it’s really guilt rearing its head as you’re really trying to apologize for something you have said or done. Rather, it is an apology that is needed.
What are you holding in your heart that you’ve been unwilling to forgive?
Next week, I will share two methods I’ve learned in navigating forgiveness. In the meantime, give some thought to both positive and negative events of a relationship to someone you’ve found it difficult to forgive. This person can be living, deceased, or perhaps, any relationship you wish would be or could have been different, better, or more in some way. Map these events in chronological order as best you can, and then next week Friday, come back here to the blog for part two.
P.S. How about you? Struggling to find forgiveness in your heart? I know it’s hard – truly, I do. But know that by offering forgiveness, you’re not letting the “offender” off-the-hook. Rather, y