For most of my adult life I’ve been told to forgive SO THAT I can heal. I have tried it time and time again. Whenever I feel that someone has hurt or betrayed me, I would try very hard to forgive, so that I can heal and move past it. What always bothered me was WHY I had to TRY to forgive…why was it such an effort, why didn’t it come more easily? So then I would just make the conviction that I have forgiven and moved forward, only for those feelings of hurt and betrayal to resurface.
I thought I was healed, what happened?
Then I realised that, for me, I had to heal first before I could forgive effortlessly. It was only then that the forgiveness came willingly and without reproach. Healing, though, is just as difficult to will. I realised, the hard way and after many failed attempts, that healing had to occur on its own time, in time. For me, I had to just be still and let it be. When feelings of resentment and hurt surfaced, I had to breathe through it and try to release it from that moment. After many, many moments like that and a whole lot of time, healing eventually occurred, on its own time. After that, I realised that forgiveness also occurred on its own, without me even being an active part of that process.
So what I learnt about myself is that healing and release have to occur within me before I could forgive for all the right reasons, not just because God said I should, or because I am supposed to, but because I can.