This post isn't about one person in particular. It's not even about solely romantic relationships. There are several experiences I have in the past and present which combined led me to these thoughts. Some of the specifics I have healed from, others still trouble me from time to time.
I am not even sure I know exactly what forgiveness is. Where is the balance between learning to distinguish good and evil and judging unrighteously? How can you learn from your mistakes without becoming calloused? Is forgiveness not being hurt any more, or is it simply not wishing the offender any harm? The latter is incredibly easy for me, but I have struggled mightily to achieve the former.
I've been pretty beat up and I'm not healing the way I feel I should be. I know that those who have offended me don't care one whit about it. They have moved on, and are completely unscathed. So why am I left holding the hurt? Why am I having such a hard time letting it go when that is what I want more than anything?
Perhaps it is because I have let the pain go before. Many times. But every time I forgive and forget, the next experience is harder to bear. I don't want to become calloused and unfeeling. I've been there before, and have worked so hard to soften again. But despite my best efforts, I can feel my emotions hardening in ways that I cannot believe are of God.
And I don't understand.
With all my soul-searching and prayer, I have learned that "letting go" as so many people advise is not entirely my choice. I can't force the broken bones of trust and my bruised heart to heal. And it's not happening on its own. In some ways, it is getting worse. The more experience I gain, the less likely I am to recover.
Despite this, it has been an immense blessing. It has given me a perspective on the Atonement that I would otherwise never have had.
I don't think that forgiveness has to wait for healing. That is where faith comes in, faith to put your future—and theirs—into the Lord's scarred hands.
In the end, it doesn't matter into what circumstances we are born or our own poor but well-meaning choices lead us. The Savior's sacrifice covers all which takes us away from our Father in Heaven. When we stand before Him, we will be able to blame no other person for our relationship with God. There will be no finger-pointing. We will all have our own unique opportunities to choose the good over the evil, our chance to prove who we want to be.
Mistakes made or not, our truest desires will lead us to either eternal life or to eternal separation from Him.
That is why the marks of the nails on his hands and feet are so significant. They are a reminder, a symbol to us of the lengths to which the Savior is willing to go to provide us with a path back to Him.
I don't believe it is necessary to no longer feel pain or damage from the actions of others in order to forgive. You may be left with mistrust, self-doubt, or fear. But, in order to forgive you must be willing to turn the debt for that pain over to the Savior to manage. In lieu of that which is owed you by others, you must accept His future payment to you of peace and wisdom. It may not come now, but you must trust that it will come.
And maybe, if you are blessed, you will be called upon to bring that peace and wisdom to others, even before you are completely healed yourself.
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