“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” ~ Lewis B. Smedes
This quote really does explain what forgiving is all about. It has nothing to do with the person you are trying to forgive, but everything to do with setting yourself free of resentment.
When you forgive someone it doesn’t mean you accept, or excuse, or erase what they did. That is between them and their God, or whatever they believe in. If the offender doesn’t apologize for what they did, still forgive them. Remember, you do this for one reason only:
“To Set Yourself Free.”
The same goes for forgiving yourself. I know for me, forgiving others is much easier than forgiving myself. But you can’t go through life continually raking yourself over the coals. Apologize to those you’ve hurt–even yourself, then let it go. I’ve even apologized to those that have passed on. Forgiving yourself has nothing to do with you taking responsibility for what you did, but once that is done, nothing good will come from beating yourself up over and over again.
Get into the habit of not harboring resentments, and learn to forgive without conditions. Your life’s journey is hard enough without extra baggage, so travel light.
“The forgiving state of mind is a magnetic power for attracting good.”
~ Catherine Ponder