"He that cannot forgve others
breaks the bridge over which he,
himself, must pass."
Forgiveness is a complicated step because the offended one is often filled with intense emotions. They can feel betrayal, despair, shame and even hatred. They can desire revenge, or just wish everything would go away. Part of forgiveness is learning to deal with the emotions and anger. We can't forgiveness if we can't get over those strong emotions.
Do not confuse forgiveness with forgetting. There are things that happen in our lives that we can't, for our own safety or the safety of others, ever forget. There are lessons to be learned even in the worst experiences of life. Forgiving is not pretending that nothing happened, it is releasing the offender.
Forgiving happens when we can actually think about the person, or the situation, without anger and pain. When we can remember without bitterness. Forgiving also allows us to release the blame we feel toward others and sometimes even the blame we feel toward ourselves.
Forgiving allows for healing to take place. It allows us to release all the pent up anger and rage. It brings us peace. Each one of us have places in our hearts of needed healing. Each of us have been wronged at some point in our lives. Each has wronged another in some way.
Forgiveness is your bridge. Swimming in the deep waters of unforgiveness is cold, murky and poisonous to yourself. The person we hurt the most by not forgiving is ourself. Not forgiving is like taking poison inside your own body and hoping that it will kill the other person. The only person that it really hurts is you.
So, let the hurt go. Forgive others and forgive yourself. You are the only one that can take that step and walk that bridge.
This is one of my favorite scriptures about forgiveness. It reminds me that Judgement is always the Lord's. He knows those things which I do not. I am content to leave it in His hands.
Doctrine and Covenants 98:39-43
39 And again, verily I say unto you, if after thine enemy has come upon thee the first time, he repent and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness, thou shalt forgive him, and shalt hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy—
40 And so on unto the second and third time; and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt forgive him, until seventy times seven.
41 And if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.
42 And if he trespass against thee the second time, and repent not, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.
43 And if he trespass against thee the third time, and repent not, thou shalt also forgive him.