Is there any emotion that imprisons the soul more than the unwillingness to forgive? What do you do when people mistreat you or those you love? Does the fire of anger boil within you, with leaping flames consuming your emotions? Or do you reach somewhere, to some source of cool water to pull out a bucket of mercy-to free yourself?To even write this post and put it on public domain (where the forgivee's eyes might see) is scary. The act of putting it here in this space is so vulnerable, yet I feel it is essential if I am to let go of any sense of control of the other party's feelings.
Don't get on the rollercoaster of resentment and anger. You be the one who says, "Yes, he mistreated me, but I am going to be like Christ. I'll be the one who says, 'Forgive them, Father, they don't know what they're doing.'" -Max Lucado
I was hurt. So deeply hurt. I still hurt. And still to this moment I have not wanted to openly acknowledge (outside of conversation with my close friends) that I don't want this person to know that I'm ok. I want them to be as miserable as I have been these past months. Yet, it's entirely possible that they have moved on regardless.
Withholding these words has been self-imposed chains. They say that when you don't forgive, it's really yourself that you are hurting the most. It's also true that forgiveness means that present and future individuals in my life will not have to suffer the consequences of the wrongs done against me.
Unforgiveness is poison.
Forgiveness does not mean disregarding the wrongs against me or saying, "it's ok," because they were wrong and it was unfair and the pain
It has meant re-visiting the memories which seemed so promising and hopeful at the time of their making. It has meant allowing myself to feel some amount of compassion and love towards the other party again. It means acknowledging that perhaps we were both more clueless than we were willing to admit to ourselves.
It does not happen in one fell swoop. You don't just wake up one day and feel ready to forgive. If you wait until you feel ready, it will likely never happen. It's a proactive process with a LOT of help from the Holy Spirit, who is an expert on forgiveness. One foot in front of the other.