Ain't that the truth.Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.
This is a concept I've struggled with. One I think we all struggle with from time to time. I think at our core most people strive for justice. In a way, forgiving others can be like letting go of our need for what we feel to be just.
It's a delicate walk and I don't know how to put this into words. I'll try.
Forgiving people that are penitent is hard.
Forgiving people that aren't penitent is hard.
Forgiving people for a one time offense is hard.
Forgiving people for a truly heinous act is hard.
One category I've struggled with, and the one where I feel it's difficult to find a balance...
It's hard to forgive people when there are chronic issues. Not just one time offenses but a pattern of behavior that has happened in the past, and worse yet, patterns that you fully expect to extend out to the foreseeable future. You know the change isn't going to come, the offenses will continue but you have to dig deep to find a way to forgive... not just past incidents but future ones as well. Like you have to forgive a part of someone that will always be with them as opposed to forgiving a specific act.
I think this is where we get into the struggle; where the ideas of forgiving but not forgetting and the forgiving but closing yourself off from further harm come from. It's not easy. It's never easy. If there was an answer everyone would be doing it and it wouldn't be a struggle. It may take time, let it take time, it's supposed to take time, but continue to work at it.