If I forgive someone, I have to let go and accept what has occurred between us. If not, I realize that the position won’t change. What it really means is that I am dismissing blame. At some stage, choices were made that cause both sides to hurt. Maybe we could have made other choices, but we did not.
It means learning from my pain. It means starting over with the knowledge that I may have gained something. It means letting go of revenge. It means releasing all my negative thoughts of resentment and bitterness.
But, I had to be clear in my own mind on what forgiving really meant. It did not mean pretending that what had happened did not really occur. I could not excuse the other person because he/she was to blame. I forgave because I felt a wrong had been committed. I was not giving the other party permission to continue with hurtful behavior. It meant letting go. It meant leaving my painful memories behind me as far as I possibly could and accepting what had occurred, because, the person or people involved were not likely to change.
By doing the above, I was able to start my healing process … ever so slowly at first, but over a period of time, it seems to have worked.