What prompted my contemplations on forgiveness? Two things: A very precious and dear friend of mine has been terribly betrayed by her husband, and has remained both strong and truly forgiving; and I just finished an amazing book about the best and worst of humanity, the undefeatable human spirit in the darkest of times, and the power of forgiveness.
Through both, I'm reminded that forgiveness is not a self-righteous, self-sacrificing gift I bestow upon another, as though I'm generously offering something out of a superior heart. Rather, it's a releasing of wrongs and their attendant feelings in myself. It's as though I'm forever relinquishing my right to hurt someone for hurting me. True forgiveness is an act of self-healing not tied to another's changing, apologizing or acknowledging that they've caused me pain. In fact, it requires no response on their part at all. It's giving up the possibility of a better past, and facing the future with hope, courage, and love. I'm inspired by my best friend's example, as well as by an incredible book, which I'll post about tomorrow.