People can find it so hard to forgive. Sometimes that is because they have a false understanding of what forgiveness might mean. Some people feel they cannot forgive unless the offender shows appropriate remorse.
Mary (59) had been walking down the road, arm in arm with her husband, John, when a teenager on drugs had ploughed onto the pavement and knocked into John. He survived in hospital for several months, but eventually died. In court, the teenager showed no remorse and even blamed John for stepping into the driver’s path. Mary knew John wouldn’t want her to be bitter and wanted to forgive, but said that she never could because the teenager was not in the least sorry that he had killed a man and destroyed her life.
If we say that we can only forgive if the person who has hurt us feels sorry, we give power to the other person to determine our happiness. And the problem is, some people will never feel sorry for what they have done. Forgiveness is something we can decide to do to help ourself, regardless of the other person. It's about not carrying an unnecessary burden for so long that it starts to harm us.
Of course, that doesn't mean that we have to be reconciled to the person or minimize what has happened. But we are telling ourselves that we accept what has happened has happened and are not trying to force something - an appropriate apology for example. We have a moral right to hold something against the other person, but regardless of them, we could decide to "bury the hatchet" for our own benefit.
However, if you are ever someone hoping to be forgiven, saying sorry is one of the key things that may help the person you have offended decide to forgive you.
What do you think?