A thorny issue, this forgiving business. I can’t speak for other faiths but I know from my upbringing that christians are taught that to forgive is divine. Yet how many of us approach divinity?
My experience has shown me that I am able to forgive … to a point. However, I think where I am sticking is where the line is between forgiving and forgetting. There are some painful memories I wish I could forget even though I (think) I have forgiven. Or at least understand why people did what they did, maybe not understand, perhaps the word is empathise? I don’t know, like i said it’s a thorny issue and sometimes when I think I have forgiven the memory rears up from the depths and the hurt stabs at me and I realise there are still layers of forgiveness I need to break through.
Some wounds will never heal, can never be forgiven. I wish I could be divine but maybe prodding at the wound is a pain/pleasure I can’t forgo yet.
Today, for me, is a day of reflection and I came to realise that the most important thing for me right now is to forgive myself. My past self is a controlling force that I need to let go, to forgive her actions (and inactions). Her fears and experiences are holding me back from being the new self I am becoming. She had her time and space in my life, yet she is now a fading remnant of who I used to be. By forgiving her, by letting her disappear into the ether I am allowing for rebirth, recreation. And in the action of forgiveness I should also acknowledge that, whatever she said or did or thought, no matter how I feel about it now, those things shaped who I am now.
Acknowledge. Forgive. Stride forward with confidence.
Perhaps that is the missing link in our path to forgiveness of others too, the acknowledging that whatever hurt we have experienced has also shaped us into who we are. Acknowledge and forgive ourselves first. Learn to love ourselves. And then we can acknowledge and forgive others because their actions gave us this life, this mind, this spirit which we love and cherish.