Forgiveness is a word and act that I have been presented with in many forms over the past few months. By nature, I have been a grudge holder. Even since I was a baby! LOL! My parents told me stories of how as a baby they could do something to upset me...and I wouldn't laugh when you tickled me for weeks after! Just grunt! (Crazy huh? lol) I personally have been very careful over the years, of who I let close to me...because I know how sensitive I can be. So when one who is close to you does something to hurt you, it is truly devastating. It hurts to the core, and breaks your heart. There is nothing worse than when a friend breaks your heart...much worse than a boyfriend or girlfriend.
But as my walk with God grows closer...Forgiveness is something I am presented with over and over. And I have already stated...its challenging for me. But I have also learned more about what forgiveness is, and more importantly, what its not. It's not about letting someone back in and allowing them to hurt you over and over again. And it's not about saying you forgive when you know you still harness feelings of regret or animosity. There is no time limit on the process... it is an individual journey.
Forgiveness is God's specialty! So he will give you the words and the way to approach it. The key is to address to the person who's hurt you, what they did and why it hurt you. Number one making them aware, and Two, giving them a chance to take action. That way the air is clear, communication is achieved. Sometimes people really can't see themselves, so you can't be upset with someone who is not aware of what they've done (although people pretend they don't know all the time). At least you have made them aware, so there is no room for assumption on either side. If the person is not there...then tell God!
Once it's off your mind, it can be off your heart. You have to let it go...that is forgiveness!!! Not continuing to dwell on what they've done...no matter how bad it is!!! It is much easier said than done! And sometimes this process can takes days, weeks, months or years... pray about it daily until the burden of it is lifted.
I think the last aspect of this is where people get it mixed up, I know I did! Forgiving someone doesn't mean that you have to let someone back into your personal space, or into the same position they were in...it just means that you are no longer dwelling on the past. Ready to move forward, with no ill feeling towards them. Forgiveness is not about making someone else FEEL forgiven...its about giving the issues up to God, and loving in spite of. When you can smile and have peace about an unpleasant situation, and know that love is in you. But make wise decisions as to where to keep people in your life, after they've hurt you. The forgiveness is not about them...it is totally and completely about YOU!!!