We all have had the need to forgive, be forgiven, and more so have an idea of what is and isn’t forgiveness. The basic definition of forgiveness is the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven.
Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive; you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you.
Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses.
Understanding forgiveness is important because when we holding resentment and anger, guilt and shame, impacts our general well being, happiness and our relationships.
And forgiveness is not for the other person – it’s not just about being altruistic. Those who hold anger and resentment are more likely to present psychological and organic illness. Forgiveness doesn’t have to follow the other person’s apology. Forgiveness is an internal event where you give up the need for an apology, a need to maintain anger, and perhaps disappointment. But also, you can’t affect the past. Forgiveness is an acceptance of what happened and asking yourself; "What can I do now?"
Think about the person you would like to rekindle a relationship with: What do you miss about them? Maybe laughing with them or sharing family traditions. You don’t have to wait for the other person to act. Why not you take the first step? Even if you were not the person who initially did the wrongdoing, you probably had some role in this. Could you be the first to apologize? Can you do it sincerely?