I’ve always believed that forgiveness heals, that forgiveness saves, that forgiveness sets your heart free, whether you are the one asking or giving.
I’ve always believed in the power of the words, I forgive you, in the incredible weight that is lifted when they leave someone’s lips.
To me, forgiveness has always felt like the most beautiful second chance. Like the answer to a prayer you didn’t know you were asking. Like freedom in a way you never imagined. Like a burden finally lifted from your tired shoulders.
And so I learned to love forgiveness.
I learned that granting it gave me healing, that asking for it gave me humility and strength. I learned that we are all sinners, all a little broken, all looking for something to help us back on our feet again, all looking for someone to say that we’re doing alright, just as we are.
I found that people make mistakes. Often painful mistakes. Often mistakes that might not warrant forgiveness. Yet I tried to grant it anyways. I found that holding grudges made me bitter, made my heart ache. Made me feel empty and angry in ways that I never imagined.
I learned forgiveness meant letting go.
Letting go of my own pain, and letting go of the pain that was inflicted on me. I learned I didn’t have to have scars if I chose not to. I didn’t have to let painful words bruise my heart if I chose to set them free.
Maybe it’s a weakness, thinking that people always have my best interests in mind, thinking that when they say, I’m sorry. that they absolutely mean it with all their soul.
Maybe it’s a weakness that I’ve always lived with my heart open wide, letting people come in, choosing to see their smiles, their positives. Choosing to believe that they mean their apologies and that they had never intended to hurt me.
Maybe it’s a weakness that I’ve always seen forgiveness as a necessary step.
But I wouldn’t change that about myself.
I think I’ve forgiven people that haven’t deserved it. But I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that because my heart doesn’t hurt any longer. Because there’s no bitterness hidden deep in my chest.
Because pain is only temporary, and I have chosen happiness.
Because forgiveness taught me that I am stronger than any pain inflicted on me, and I always will be.
So I choose forgiveness.
I chose it then, and I still choose it. I will choose it when my heart is aching. I will choose it when I feel betrayed. I will choose it when people don’t treat me how they should, and it hurts to keep them in my life. Even then, I will choose forgiveness. And then I will walk away.
I choose forgiveness because I deserve to heal.
Because I don’t want to hold onto pain for any longer than I need to. Because healing starts when I let things go. And when I choose to forgive, those who hurt me become blessed, too.
And maybe, just maybe, they’ll learn to love and heal too.