Why is it so easy to be offended and so hard to be able to forgive?  I have been on this path for some time now and have only just scrapped the top of this issue.


I have always been prone to hanging onto things far too long.  Letting go of my pain has never been easy.  But it is not productive and can keep you focused on the past instead of the present.  I have remained stagnant too long and I needed to be able to move on.


What does it mean to forgive?  To be able to really look deep within you and let whatever that pain is go?  At first, the pain is too raw to even think about a possibility of being able to forgive someone.  A range of emotions are apparent.  Anger, sadness, resentment and bitterness are just a few.  The feelings are obviously aimed at a particular source, but if you really search within, you will see a lot of these emotions are aimed at yourself as well.


I had to explore the situation in order to find what was really important to me.  Was it just hurt feelings and a loss of trust that I was clinging to?  Was it just on the surface or did this pain dwell in my heart?  What I mean is was I trying to save face from a disappointment or betrayal or did it really hit me at the core of who I am?  I felt the weight of the pain, but now I had to determine what the cost of that pain was and see if I could recover from it.


Bruised feelings or ego aside, was I willing to see this through and find it in my heart to forgive the party or parties involved?  After much time had passed, I came to the conclusion that forgiveness was the only solution for me.  I was the one who was hurt, who lived through this pain, and only I could resolve it.  It wasn’t easy, rather difficult, but it had to be done in order for me to move on.


I had to examine where I stood and what was gained from all of this, not just what was lost.  Do I live in constant anger or sadness because I was hurt?  What would that achieve?  I would only remain in my pain or hurt and nothing would be accomplished.  It would also give the other party the upper hand.  Their infliction upon me had all of the control.  I decided to forgive that person not because they deserved it, but rather because I needed to let it go.  What they did was wrong, but it was also wrong of me to hang on to the bitterness.  I could not enjoy all that life can offer if I remained where I was.


So I took one last look around the situation and weighed all of the pros and cons of this hurt and I let it go. I found that endless hours of crying, and searching for a reason as to why it happened had come to an end.  It placed me on a path of realization.  I was forgiven; thus I need to learn to forgive.  It really does set you free.


I cannot tell you that I have one hundred percent forgotten what happened, but each day it gets a little easier and I believe it will happen one day.  One day I will wake up and not remember that experience.  I believe if you truly are intent on forgiving someone, then you have to forget what happened.  Do not get me wrong, I am not implying that people jump right back into a friendship, relationship or whatever the connection might have been with the other party involved.  However, you need to be open to the prospect of forming relationships again.  To do this, you have to let everything go and that includes the memories.  Forgiveness is so much more than a simple “I forgive you” statement.  You have to look deep down in your heart and decide to forgive for inner peace.  You wrestle with it before you can actually give it, but you have to erase all of it in order for it to be accomplished.


In times like this, I seek out a higher source for the insight needed.  I remember through my faith, a sacrifice that was made for me and others to be forgiven.  When I was forgiven I was given a new slate, for the past sin was no longer remembered.  I, in turn, need to show that forgiveness to others because it was shown to me.


Take the hurt, process it, and then decide if you are willing to let it go in order to move on.  Once you make this decision, decide how to proceed and do not look back.  You have gained strength from this and you will grow because of it.  You have the ability to forgive and forget, but you have to have the desire deep down inside to trust you will get through it.  Trust has never been easy for me.  I did not grow up with the concept of trust, but it is a trait that I acquired and have depended on.  It has helped me deal with hurt and pain, because I have put my trust in something much more, much bigger than I.  I now can reflect on my past with an open mind and clear heart.  I chose to however, not to dwell in my past, but to look towards the future instead.


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