Someone in my life (I won't go too deeply into who, lets just call him "the biological guy") said to me once "I am waiting for you to apologize to me!"
And, to me, that made clear an aspect of forgiveness that I have been pondering for a while now.
It appears he does not understand the true meaning of forgiveness. If he wanted to forgive me (for whatever he is resenting me for) then he could simply forgive me. He shouldn't need me to apologize. It would just come from within him.
When I first began studying the idea of forgiveness during my yog enlightenment training it went something like this:
Teacher: forgiveness comes from you. You do not need apology or regret from the other person to heal you and forgive them. Forgiveness is accepting things as they are and offering love to the person, no matter how unforgivable the pain may seem.
Me: yes, but, dont they need to-
Me: but don't I need to hear them admit-
Me: but woudnt I be letting them away with-
Me: but, how?
Teacher: find that answer within.
Thus began my quest to understand forgiveness.
Since then, I have graciasly forgiven people from my past and I never needed any of them to apologize to me for any of it.
There was a time when there were two boys in my life who I felt hurt me so deeply, that when I saw them again years later (before the forgiveness ponderig began) it was burning me inside. I had to confront them on it. I didn't want them to apologize, I just wanted them to acknowledge and admit to the pain they caused and to see where they were inside about it. It was all in my own head. I was still giving them power over me, which I didn't need to do.
When I (after a few years later) finally forgave them, I realized forgiving them had nothing to do with them. The forgiveness helped me. Healed me. Freed me from ways of thinking. I was able to let it all go and move on with my life.
I have some people in my life now who I am currently intending to forgive. Again, it has nothing to do with them. It is for my own peace of mind. These examples are proving more difficult to let go and move on from. But every day I am chiseling on the block of marble surrounding the pain I've felt in leu of their actions, soon enough I will create a masterpiece of love and acceptance and will look at those people with no more resentment behind my eyes. They don't need to do a single thing for me to get there. It's all my own work.
Is there someone in your life who you are working to forgive? Can you own the pain and forgive anyhow?
What are some of your thoughts about forgiveness?