Forgiveness is one of the more challenging of virtues. We hear that we are better for it; that when we forgive ourselves or others who have hurt us, we find peace. Very often, we have to push against the feeling that by forgiving we excuse the hurt. Forgiving is not about accepting the transgression but rather that it happened.
We must also reconcile with the myth that through the act of forgiveness, we invite the person who hurt us back in our lives. There are times when that does happen, but forgiveness isn’t the guarantee of that process – sometimes we choose to forgive and also choose to move forward without the relationship. Forgiveness gives us the gift of healing the wound of the hurt.
Forgiveness also doesn’t guarantee that we won’t get emotionally triggered or still feel pain and sorrow when reminded of the hurt. When we have forgiven however, we hold a greater sense of freedom from the wound; it doesn’t control us as it used to.
A lovely quote that can give to us a way of looking at this valuable process is “Forgiveness is not a line to cross but a road to travel. – Unknown”
Forgiveness is a journey, with some pit-stops, perhaps a brief stay or two, sometimes a crossroad to face; albeit heading to the same place – peace.
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