The Pain of Forgiveness / by Louis Holstein

Our forgiveness is tested most when we are confronted with our offenders.

The pain of forgiveness is a topic that seems to come up all too often; I suppose I'm not getting better at forgiveness as I am other things in life. When the opportunity arises for me to forgive there is a hesitation. When old hurts come rushing back, I let them cover me. I don't' stand on the forgiveness of yesteryear. What is wrong with me? When will I grow up?

Image by  Ashley Holstein

Will forgiveness ever become easy? I don't think it will. Letting go of the hurt, and hugging the offender is not something that comes simply. It's quite painful actually. Our desire to see people pay for their mistakes is something deep rooted in us. So, maybe it will never become easy, but maybe it will become normal. For instance, running 3 miles is rarely easy for me, yet it has become a part of my routine, it has become normal. Perhaps forgiveness will shift like that?

I have found that these questions, and thoughts, (dealing with myself) help me to deal with others. The judgment of others I intuitively have begins to melt in the reality of my own humanity. Surely this is the importance of forgiveness, to set me free. It is then that forgiveness changes shape. It is no longer a burden, it is a gift. 

Relax Louis, know freedom and forgive.