Forgiving someone who’s hurt you can be one of the hardest things to do. We may understand the importance of forgiving but find it extremely difficult to even know where to begin. Our emotions can take us on a whirlwind. We may even get to a point where we feel like we’ve let something go when in reality we’re holding on tighter than ever. Over time this is what I’ve learned about the reality of forgiveness.
1. It’s a process: no matter how much we may want to forgive someone to release ourselves from that bondage of anger and hurt, it’s a process. You’re not going to completely forgive someone over night. There are levels to this.
2. It takes practice: forgiveness is something we have to actively practice every day. I’ve found that admitting, accepting and forgiving my own personal faults helps to soften my heart to the realization that no one is perfect. We all fall short. By doing this we allow personal growth even as we’re still trying to completely forgive someone else.
3. It takes prayer: forgiveness requires Gods help. This isn’t one of those things we can go at alone. Part of practicing forgivenes is to thank God for forgiving you and praying for God to open your heart so that you can do the same.
It’s important to realize that not everyone is waiting for your forgiveness. And when you do forgive them they may not change at all. They may remain the same hurtful, vindictive, bitter people. But one of the biggest truths I’ve learned is that hurt people, hurt other people, and it can become a vicious cycle until we learn to truly forgive.