Forgiveness is not for the person who offended you but it is for you. Often, in our anger toward another, we come to realize that the person we most need to forgive is ourselves. It is much harder mentally forgiving yourself than on anyone else.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to deny what happened. You certainly don’t have to condone or forget the wrong. Rather, forgiveness is choosing to stop your vengeance from diminishing you by continuing to drag you down to someone else’s level.
Evil is very real. That makes forgiveness very tricky. But by forgiving, we overcome evil with our goodwill.
The people who hurt you were troubled and in great pain themselves. You might have been a victim of a victim. But let the cycle stop there – forgive. Try Joan Borysenko’s steps toward self forgiveness:
1) Recognize what you are responsible for and holding on to.
2) Confess your story to another person and to God.
3) Consider what specific action needs to be taken to resolve things with the other person.
4) Reflect on what you have learned. Self forgiveness opens up opportunities for growth.
5) Realize that anger is biologically toxic and can make you ill.
6) Continually look to God for help.