Forgiveness takes time! Don't give it away until you are ready.
Forgiveness is your gift to yourself. No one has the right to demand it or shame you into it. Forgiveness is not forgetting, condoning, excusing, or justifying the person who hurt you. You can forgive, but may never forget. You may forgive, but never see the offender again.
Forgiveness requires that you experience pain and anger for as long as you need to heal. It invites you to feel bitterness and vengeance as you realize how deeply you have been hurt.
The acknowledgment of pain is perfectly human, so don't rush your humanity. Don't ignore it, waste it, be ashamed of it, or minimize it.
Whenever the journey of life takes you, take your humanity with you.
Kiss Your Life... 365 Reasons to Love Who You Are
By: Ann Mody Lewis, Ph.D.
Reason: 253 Page: 271
Forgiveness is love made visible throughout our lives!
It makes love workable because we are redeemed by it…saved from ourselves and helping others save themselves!
Knowing what forgiveness is NOT is where we must begin:
Forgiveness is NOT avoiding conversation about pain, because you think there is nothing to gain.
Forgiveness PREMATURELY given creates a false peace you won’t believe in.
Forgiveness is NOT destroying love you think is over.
Forgiveness does NOT demean us, it expands us.
It ‘takes a village to forgive’. Conflicts rarely affect ‘just two people.’ When others take sides, the ‘village is torn apart.’ Those who listen to the offender and offended could comfort, not polarize; encourage forgiveness, not compete for rightness. The offender and offended suffer over the loss that looms over them; encouraging forgiveness can be a new beginning.
Love depends on the power of forgiveness to be sustained. It gives us the power to mend who we offend and forgive who we treasure, because they add meaning in our lives. The offender who won’t feel remorse can’t grow. The offended who won’t be merciful won’t grow either. Both will have lost an opportunity to make ‘peace within themselves.’
“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
(Harriet Beecher Stowe)
The conversation this month will be incredibly human. It will challenge all of us to examine our willingness to ‘create peace on earth’ by creating peace in our own hearts. Living completely must include forgiving continually.
Topics will include: Why is forgiveness liberating? Who deserves forgiveness? How are you motivated to forgive? Why is forgiveness an essential component of love?