I was thinking the other day about forgiveness. I realized for me forgiveness is not a question of “if.” Of course, I will forgive the person who hurt me. The decision about forgiveness was already made in my mind. The “if” is a given but the “when” or “how often” has the question mark attached.
There are times and situations forgiveness comes quickly. Other times not so much. The deeper the wound the longer it takes to come that conclusion for me. I find it especially hard to forgive when it happens to Tom or my kids. I want to forgive that person for the hurt, but when I watch the outcome of their hurt in someone that means the world to me, it’s not easy.
I’ve learned to make a point of forgiving people because it’s not for their benefit that I forgive; it’s for my benefit – my spiritual, emotional and physical benefit. It takes too much out of me to stay angry. Anyone can have a bad day. They can say something they don’t mean or say it in a way that’s harsh or disrespectful. I get that. They may never ask for me to forgive them, but that’s not the point of forgiveness. It doesn’t require action from them – because let’s face it sometimes that’s just never going to happen.
It requires action from me, for me, to benefit me. So today, I choose to forgive, which doesn’t mean I trust that person or persons, but I forgive them. (I’m not saying here that to forgive someone means you stay in a relationship with them. Some relationships are toxic.)
There is freedom in forgiveness for me. It helps me to move forward instead of being tied to something in the past that can hold me back. Forgiveness is a process, but the first step is a decision, at least for me.
© Nadine Zawacki 2015