It has been said that to forgive someone is to set yourself free. Of recent I have learned some more of what that actually means. It is one thing for you to forgive someone, and quite another to be the one asking for forgiveness. In the first scenario you must have done some work with your heart to know precisely what hurt was buried deep within it. You have to be strong enough and allow yourself to be vulnerable to trust someone to help you really get to know what situation is the culprit of the pain or dis-ease in your heart. That takes a lot of courage and a great deal of personal strength because most of us would prefer to ignore or disregard the event that created the hurt. Most of us are kind and loving individuals and the last thing we want to do is to cause someone else to feel the pain we do. At least that is what I have observed about myself and most people I know.
In the second scenario you have to be very strong, not take things personal, and be willing to take responsibility for your actions rather than try to explain or make excuses for what you have done. With that said, sometimes what we have done was the best choice we had at the time of the situation. Tough situations generally occur when we are at our lowest time ... when we have made several attempts to remedy a concern that requires cooperation from the other party to truly resolve. And, everyone knows you can only control your actions, you certainly cannot make someone do something they do not want to do ... and so you take an action in hopes it remedies the situation.
In both scenarios resolving a conflict and/or past hurt can only happen when each person is willing to take responsibility for his or her actions ... then and only then can true forgiveness be asked for and/or given. It all begins with looking within our hearts and being brave enough to listen to the whispers that ask to be brought to the light. That light is unconditional love, and that is what sets each party free. Words without true heart-felt forgiveness keep the unforgiving party enslaved to the situation. It is the party willing to examine his or her part in the past situation and take responsibility for the effects it had on the other person, despite our best intentions, that offers true unconditional love that can set both ourself and the other party free.
My heart wishes that when such unconditional love and personal responsibility is offered the other party accepts it and allows his or her heart to heal. However, I have learned I do not have that much power to make that happen. I can only accept my part and pray for the heart of the one needing or asking for forgiveness to receive my love, take it into his or her heart and allow the action to heal. That is my prayer, that is what I hold onto so that my heart and the heart of the one I love may be free to add more love to the world.
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!