Forgiveness is tough.  

Being hurt by someone we care about causes such deep suffering. It’s hard to put into words the pain that seems to emanate from our core into every cell of our bodies.  

The truth is that until we forgive, we are trapped, we are controlled, we are imprisoned by the one who hurt us.  The unknown author who wrote, “Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die,” has incredible wisdom.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can share with you the steps that have helped me to forgive someone who hurt me very badly.  It is only in retrospect that I can see the progression, but I certainly could not see it at the time.

  1. Choose to forgive.  Yes, the first thing I had to do was make this decision.  After I decided that I wanted to forgive, nothing happened, nothing at all.  The anger was the same and the hurt was as deep.  Nothing changed, nothing at all.
  2. I waited
  3. I waited
  4. I waited
  5. I waited
  6. I saw or felt nothing much happening, but over time, I began to stop wishing that this person could feel the hurt they caused me, I actually began to wish good things for them.
  7. I dropped the need to tell my side of the story and to make them understand what they did.
  8. I began to feel neutral… that I mean that when I thought of them no strong emotions arose, either good or bad.
  9. And now, I thank God for this person.  I’m sure that there are many people who have been touched or helped or loved by this person, and that’s a good thing.

It took a really long time, of waiting, of silence, a winter of sorts.  But, eventually things changed anrd spring broke through.  And now, I remember this person with kind thoughts and wishes.  They are no longer a part of my life, and that’s a good thing. 

So, I would guess that this is forgiveness, at least for me.