I’ve been thinking about forgiveness all morning.   Forgiveness as a process that must unfold in order for the heart and mind to move forward in good health.  It’s not easy – we don’t always feel the other person ‘deserves’ forgiveness; after-all we look at it as a gift.  But the gift is one that is shared – a relief from the threat of anger – a defense against being consumed by that anger.  We give forgiveness, but we also receive it in the same action.  And it allows us to move forward freely, without the constant need for rethinking our anger and shelving it higher and higher with no resolve.  

So then, when we are so afraid of forgiving someone; perhaps we should ask ourselves whether we are afraid to forgive ourselves.  What is it that stops us short of freeing someone from the  confines of our hostility?   While at the same time reserving some civility for ourselves?  I’ve met people who are so close to forgiving, but hold on to that anger tightly because it is familiar and protects them ultimately from rejection.  I’ve been one of these people.  Too stubborn to let go and let my defenses down long enough to forgive; and to be forgiven.  And my failure to do so has haunted me for some time.  

So now, I focus on the letting go and allow myself to be vulnerable once more; forgiving myself for the mistakes, for the anger I reserved and built up around every reflective surface so I would never have to look too far inward.  And I can say it has helped me.  Because as willing as I am now to love others unconditionally, I so am willing to love myself.  

Bestow the gift.