One of the hardest things we must deal with as human beings is the fact that sometimes people do really terrible things.
Sometimes it's us: sometimes we are the ones who have done something terrible.
Sometimes it's other people. They may be strangers or someone we know, admire, trust or love.
How do we deal with that?
What does it really mean to forgive?
I have wrestled with that word largely because I've always associated it with organized religion.
It seemed like something "God" could do but rather beyond the scope of a mere mortal such as myself.
Lately I have found it easier to come to terms with the concept when I think of how the bank will "forgive" a loan or a debt.
As I understand it, this means they're not going to come after you anymore. They're not going to send collections agencies after you anymore. It's over. You may not get offered another loan anytime soon, but this particular situation is over and done and in time you can start over again. It's no longer a relevant issue. You are released. Your debt: forgiven.
I find that particular angle on the word makes it more approachable for me. I can forgive someone (or myself) for doing something terrible in the sense that I can let it go.
Yes it was terrible, but it's over.
It's not happening right now; and my dwelling on something from the past isn't going to change what happened or make it better.
I'll just make myself feel bad.
And why do that to myself?
I don't have to think of myself as particularly special or super-powered for forgiving them, all I have to do is let it go. I can stop hanging onto an issue from another time and focus my attention on what is happening here and now.
In letting go, I find release.
That, to me, is the essence of forgiveness.
Some food for thought . . .
Let me know what you think.