Ask twenty people who forgiveness is for, and most will say forgiveness is for the offender, something you do for someone who has wronged you. That’s the conventional wisdom anyway. We picture someone asking for forgiveness hoping the other person gives it to them. But the truth is that forgiveness is for you: and not just the present-day you, but the you of the past and of the future. Let’s talk a little bit more about what exactly we mean.
Helping the You Who Was
Forgiveness is for your past self: the person you were before you were wronged. You can’t change what happened, and you won’t be the person you were ever again. But don’t let the heartbreak you experienced be in vain. By working toward forgiveness, you can learn to let go of those past events, begin to heal and work toward becoming a better you.
Helping Yourself in the Here and Now
Forgiveness is for your present self: the person you are now. All your past experiences have led up to you being the person you are now. Even if you’ve accepted what happened, the pain will probably still be with you in the now. Find a way to make peace with negative experiences, or the traumas and tragedies of yesterday will suffocate you at every turn. Stop being a prisoner to rage, and let yourself live again.
Helping the You That Will Be
Forgiveness is for your future self: the person you will become. Consider where your life is headed, and what path your lack of forgiveness could put you on. Will your life improve? Will it get worse? If you choose not to work on forgiveness, you’ll probably be faced with the latter. Give your future self peace-of-mind by actively working toward a true forgiveness that releases you from your pain.
Despite what conventional wisdom tells us, forgiveness is for you and you alone. Although they may benefit, your forgiveness isn’t for the offender, your family or anyone else. Forgiveness is for you, and it will set you free. Understand this, and protect your past, present and future.
Together in strength we will forgive,
The Will To Forgive Team