Forgiveness is not easy but its necessary! When we don’t forgive, we truly become the prisoner. It shows up in our relationships with others, our health, and in all facets of our lives. Most times the offender has moved on, they may not even think of the offense they committed or how it impacted you, and sometimes they don’t even take ownership. We have to forgive others and we have to forgive ourselves. The way that I forgive is remembering that I to need forgiveness. GOD has forgiven me over and over again. And if I want that grace extended to me by GOD I must extend it to others. I need his forgiveness on a daily, Lord knows I am only a work in progress. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone the wrong that was done to you, or that you feel their actions were excusable, it doesn’t mean you to have to reconcile with someone, or continue to be violated by someone. You don’t have to forget what happened to you and hopefully you will get to a place where its not at the forefront of your mind. Yes its filed in the brain, yet it no longer controls or consumes you. I do believe our pain has a purpose, when you have experienced certain hurts you are able to help/minister to someone in that same situation. You can become empathetic and really understand how that person is feeling. Perhaps if you had never experienced certain hurts you wouldn’t fully be able to understand someone’s pain. I’m a firm believer that its our story but its for his glory!!! The offense or offenses done to us are also reminders of people/dangers we should stay away from. Nothing in life is wasted. If nothing else being wronged teaches us how to forgive. We wouldn’t need to forgive if we were never wronged. I understand some offenses are harder than others to forgive however in time hopefully you will reach that place. Sometimes we have to become more spiritually sound and aware to do that, and you may also have to seek the help of a counselor to properly process the wrong/wrongs done to you. Yes by now you can see I’m a advocate for counseling, because it works! We have also done wrong or offended others in some way. Its important that we ask GOD to forgive us, he is graceful and merciful to do just that. And we have to forgive ourselves because once GOD forgives us he forgets our offense. I’ve been trapped in that prison too asking GOD for forgiveness for the same thing over and over again, yet GOD had already forgiven me. I just needed to forgive myself and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do. The same thing applies to forgiving ourselves of our wrongs/offenses we have committed some are easier than others to forgive ourselves of. You may even have to seek the help of a counselor to forgive yourself! Just remember whether you need to forgive yourself, others, or both forgiveness is possible. You don’t have to wait on a apology or make amends to reach forgiveness. Thank GOD because some people may never apologize, some people may not accept your apology, and making amends may not be possible or safe. So when I think of my past wounds or think of my present ones, I also think of my past wounding and present wounding. And in that moment I quickly become humble because I realize I’m not perfect. It takes growth to get there, and I still have a lot of growing to do. However, I’m more aware. I use to blame my friends, family, and the people I dated. I wanted to hold them to standards I wasn’t willing to hold myself to. I could only see their wrong, their part. However, we all have a part that we play. Now I ask GOD to show me my part, my wrong. If there is wrong on my part I seek forgiveness and work on it. And when bitterness creeps up and I want me to hold it over their heads. I denounce it and forgive as quickly as possible. I have tried holding on to unforgiveness and it hurts worse than just letting go! Forgiveness is knowing that vengeance is the Lord’s, letting go of the negative emotions associated with the offender or offense, and making a choice to live in harmony, peace and love. How do you know you have forgiven someone? For me its being in a place where I ultimately wish my offender the best, seeing my biological dad dying before my eyes was a great example. Because in that moment regardless of how I felt he had wronged me, I was still able to genuinely love him, pray for him, wish him the best, and I got no delight in seeing him suffer instead I pleaded to GOD for mercy. I wanted him to have peace and not suffer. Every situation is different so you have to reach forgiveness in your time and depending on the offense/offender a realtionship with that person is not wanted or possible. And that’s okay you don’t have to deal with someone to forgive them. GOD can help you to forgive rape, molestation, abuse, divorce, abortion, infidelity, the murder of your loved one,etc. He can also forgive you of infidelity, abortion, divorce, abuse, murder, rape, and molestation,etc. So if you are feeling heavy today, weighed down, or maybe some areas in your life are stagnate. And you don’t understand why you are not producing fruit? It could be that bitter root called unforgivness. Take inventory and see who you need to forgive, it could be yourself!