I grew up imagining that I forgave those who hurt me.
In Letting Go Into Perfect Love, I write: True forgiveness for me has been and is a progression of faltering baby steps through a storm of flying debris. My experience has taught me that anyone who has known the deep sorrows of sexual abuse, domestic violence, infidelity, cruelty of any kind, must walk through the debris to actually let it go.
What is forgiveness? Bishop Desmond Tutu once stated, "forgiveness does not mean condoning what has been done. It means taking what happened seriously and not minimizing it: drawing out the sting in the memory that threatens our entire existence."
Forgiveness is a process of drawing out the sting.
There are many processes that can help us draw out the sting. It does not happen over night, and it does not happen if we simply say the words. Forgiveness emerges when we feel safe enough to face that which is hidden in our hearts. And when this occurs, we will realize that some people are in our lives as blessings, and others are lessons. Once we understand this truth, we can let go, we are free.