What is Forgiveness?
Much has been written about forgiveness from both a psychological and spiritual perspective. There is broad agreement that forgiveness involves the conscious decision to let go of feelings of resentment and the desire for vengeance towards an individual who has wronged you. Forgiveness does not mean that you now condone the offense that was committed against you – nor that you have forgotten or should forget the offense.
What is the experience of forgiveness?
The first step in forgiving another often comes in the acknowledgement of our own pain. The question we must ask ourselves, though, is how long are we willing to hold onto that pain? Letting go of our anger and resentment does not have to imply that we must approach the individual who wronged us and offer them personal forgiveness; we may simply choose to forgive them in our own hearts. People who have gone through the experience of forgiving another often describe it as a liberating act.
Challenges and Commitments
Try to be grateful for what you have learned through the experience of being wronged. Don’t forget to forgive yourself for holding onto your anger. Try to “place yourself in the other person’s shoes” - recognizing what you might have in common with the other person can make forgiving them an easier task,