"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." ~ Lewis SmedesWho do you need to forgive in order to release yourself from the prison of repetitive emotional pain? How long will you hold onto this pain, like a deluded victim clinging to the knife that stabs them, pretending that you aren't the one holding the knife? Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. It is not condoning whatever actions or words hurt you. It is making a decision not to let the event keep hurting you over and over. It is an act of self healing. By releasing the thoughts of resentment and anger we release our attachment to suffering.
Some people think that you shouldn't forgive someone unless they deserve to be forgiven. This is not being fair to yourself. You are the one who deserves to be free of this heavy weight. The act of forgiveness releases you from the repetitive thoughts of being a victim. You may have been a victim once, but until you forgive and let those thoughts of resentment go, you will be a victim of this emotional suffering again and again.
Once you forgive a person, it does not mean that you should allow the same situation to repeat itself. Just because you have forgiven something does not mean it is okay to play the victim again. Be forgiving in nature but be wise in your decisions to interact with others by not playing a fool.
The act of forgiveness may take time, so be gentile with yourself as you move toward freeing yourself from this dark prison.
Laura Barrette Shannon