What is forgiveness? For years I read and talked about forgiveness, but never understood what it meant. Sometimes, even thinking about forgiveness made me mad! It’s not fair to be hurt and feel in pain, and well-meaning quotes like “forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it” only made me more confused and angry.
Even though people spoke to me about the importance of forgiveness, it took years for me to understand it, as well as a lot of healing, therapy, alternative healing, and prayer. Eventually, I realized that to forgive I just needed to let love back into the parts of my heart that had been wounded. I had to learn to stop thinking about all the things that had hurt me, and get back in touch with myself and the love that always lived in my heart.
I think about Jesus on the cross forgiving those who crucified him. That’s such a powerful act. Jesus knew his relationship to God, and knew all the love he was – and nothing anyone did, even killing him, could change that. He forgave them because they didn’t know what they were doing.
On a smaller (much smaller) scale, I have learned to forgive people who didn’t mean to hurt me – even people who have hurt me deeply. They did not know what they were doing. They were merely acting out their own scripts and dramas. Their actions do not reflect on me, and do not change the love I am and was born to be. It really does have less to do with the other person, and everything to do with me.
“Forgive and Live” has been a mantra I say to myself to remind myself of how important it is to forgive. Forgiving frees me to live the life I was born to live.