Forgiver, forgiving, forgiveness. All of them come from the root word forgive. All of them boil down to the following:
- the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven
- to give up resentment against or stop wanting to punish (someone) for an offense or fault; pardon
- to relent in being angry or in wishing to exact punishment for (an offense or fault)
- to absolve from payment of (a debt, for example)
In my own words, forgiving a person means you no longer allow him or her to occupy your mind, thoughts, or psyche because you’re obsessed with the wrong they’ve done. When you harbor unforgiveness, you are plagued by an ever-present cloud of anger. I lived in that state for many, many years of the years I was married. Please understand that it wasn’t always like that.
In the beginning, it didn’t matter what that man did, I forgave him. It was what I had been taught to do. It was the biblical thing to do. Time after time, though, he took my forgiveness for granted and either repeated the same act or one more dastardly than the previous one. When he was here for my mother’s funeral, he acknowledged once again, that he know how hard I had tried to make the marriage work and that he knew how often I had forgiven him.
I’ve shown you some of the various definitions of forgiveness, but if I had to sum it up in three words, it would be: release of self. When you forgive, you are not relieving the offender of the action, you are releasing yourself from the snare of anger and pain that that person’s action caused you.
Forgiveness can not define you. You must define your own life. That life should revolve around those you love, those who love you, enjoying the daily ins and outs of life, and basking in the joy of being alive. Don’t be the human definition of unforgiveness.