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Often I talk about forgiving those who have hurt you in the past.  You do so for yourself.  You do not have to wait for them to ask for it.  You also do not have to invite them back into your life to continue it. To hold on to these transgressions, only allows those who created them still control and hurt you.  


However, today I found out someone, who tormented me as a young girl, passed away. While I had forgiven her and others like her, if I am really honest with myself I have to admit I felt a sense of justice wound its way around.  


How can that be if I have forgiven her?  I had.  I never thought about her.  The only reason I heard of her passing was through a mutual friend’s Facebook page. So, if I had forgiven her...and she didn’t rent space in my head...why didn’t I feel sadness at her passing?  


First, I looked for examples of people I have indeed forgiven and felt bad for the situation they are currently in.  An old boyfriend came to mind.  I knew I had forgiven him a year after we broke up.  However, without my saying anything to him, he requested to see me and apologized to me for his behavior.  It has been more than 20 years since I last saw him, but I heard how he bravely and gallantly is standing tall and taking care of his wife after she was seriously and permanently injured in an accident.  I have nothing, but compassion and respect for having the character to stand by his vows.  


I have also been the one who needed to give the apology.  Another dear boyfriend from highschool deserved me to be more thoughtful about his feelings when he wanted to be serious and I didn’t.  I handled that poorly.  While I tried to apologize the following year, he wasn’t ready to hear it.  While I doubt it troubled him all these years, he was open to hearing it a couple of years ago when we ran into each other.  


Even with myself, I find that I need to forgive and let go. We usually are hardest on the one closest to us....we expect superhuman abilities, like hindsight vision, that we forgive others so easily they don’t possess. I find that when I finally forgive myself for being a human or making a mistake a calmness takes the place where I was once anxious.  I also know, if when I forgive myself I am more open to forgiving others.



So while we do need to forgive to move on, it is important to ask for forgiveness as well from ourselves and others we have wronged to leave the door open for compassion.


I thought the attached story also adds another layer to these thoughts:

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