Forgiveness is defined by Merriam-Webster as; the act of forgiving. Ok so what's the act to forgive. Forgive is defined by Merriam-Webster as; to cease feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw or mistake.
Although forgiveness may seem like a simple thing to do, trust me it's not always the case. Ok let's look closer at this, you wronged me and I say "I forgive you." Really, do I forgive you forever, ever or do I just forgive you in that moment. Hmmmm, that is something to ponder because some offenses can cut you deep.
Forgiveness is sometimes not just a one time thing. I have found myself having to forgive an offense repeatedly before I truely was able to have peace. For a point of clarification, there have been things that I simply forgave immediately and didn't think about it again. However there have been other things where as forgiveness was a process because the offense(s) caused deep emotional pain.
Several years ago I was the victim of a brutual robbery and attack. Immediately after the incident I told my mother that I had forgiven the attacker. Although, I truly meant what I said, thinking about the attack afterward would produce feelings of anger. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people that loved me and supported me through the healing process. My attacker was caught within seven days. after my attack. I would come face to face with him in a courtroom two years later, seeing him did not elict any feeling of anger. After leaving that courtroom, I knew that the forgiveness process for my attacker was complete.
When we forgive others that forgiveness allows us the freedom to move on. In many cases the offender has already moved on with their lives, while we are stewing in all kinds of unnecessary feelings. Sometimes we will simply not have the opportunity for a face to face forgiveness. However, I strongly suggest allowing yourself to find a way to release any offenses, flaws, or mistakes. The emotional bondage that unforgiveness causes can prevent you from moving forward and simply is just not worth it. For me, the hardest person to forgive at times has been myself. Always remember to forgive yourself.
One of my greatest acts of forgiveness was forgiving my father for his absence during the majority of my childhood. Read more here: Associated Feelings
The paths to forgiveness can be simple or complex; either way arriving there is priceless.
Also note just because you forgive a person, you do not have to invite that person back into your life. I love many people from afar and that's ok. ~OneLove "Diane"