Forgiveness is often touted as being a selfless act. “I will choose to forgive you.” “I have chosen to forgive him, but I will not forget.” “Even though she doesn’t deserve it, I will forgive her and move on.”
In my opinion, forgiveness is completely self-serving. We do this for ourselves; so that we can overcome a situation and move on. So that we ourselves have a sense of closure, an end to an uncomfortable moment or situation.
Most often those who are being forgiven aren’t necessarily affected by our forgiveness, nor does it necessarily benefit them to be forgiven. If you are lied to and choose to forgive the liar, are you benefitting them by looking the other way? Maybe; but maybe you are giving them an out and an excuse to do this again to you or some one else.
Forgiveness is tough. When someone has cut you deeply, it is incredibly difficult to turn that page and begin another chapter of forgiveness and healing. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is a perfectly acceptable reason to be selfish. In forgiving some one who has wronged you, you are opening yourself up to healing, peace, and wisdom. You are allowing yourself to be vulnerable and strong simultaneously.
In life we are often so focused on making others “pay” for the missteps they have taken, instead of focusing on how those missteps have affected us and what we can do for ourselves to move on from it.
It is in times like these that we should return to our mat, and sit in quiet meditation to reflect on what our mind and body require in order to heal. It is in times like these that it is especially ok to put yourself first. In order to live a full life we ourselves must be full; and harboring resentment or hard feelings is only detrimental to ourselves in the long run.