Let me start by telling the definitions of forgiveness .
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
Just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offence against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offences. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you, or release them from legal accountability.(credits https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/forgiveness/definition)
Why is it difficult to forgive?
If the definition of forgiveness is to release the person who has inflicted pain and trauma in my life. Then why should I let him not have the full wrath that I could inflict on him and have that person feel the effects of pain that they have incurred in my life. The question that arises is why should we forgive ?
Let me answer this with a short story. There was a girl in a coastal town and she was kind of a lonely kid, as a young girl she was molested by one of the workers in her fathers coconut plantation. This left a scar in her life and she was never able to forgive herself as she thought that it was her mistake that the plantation worker had done what had happened to her.
This scar became worse as the days went by, she was ultimately able to get justice and the plantation worker was given what he deserves. He was sent to jail for his crimes. This did not heal the now young women. She had gone through a traumatic experience and she was not able to get over it. Even the fact that she had got vengeance did not satisfy her and did not take away the guilt and shame that she had been suffering for so many year.
This led her to go through a journey of self realisation and during that she realised that forgiving the man who did this to her helped her not just to forgive him but also helped her heal. The scars in her life slowly left and she was able to reconcile the fact that it was not her but the evil within this person that had made him do this. As she realised this more and more she was able to get the healing that she so required in her life.
In this sense forgiveness is not just required for the repented soul but also for self healing. When we do not forgive and let go we live the horrors of the trauma over and over again.
Forgiveness by no means is to absolve the sin and pain caused by the oppressor but it is required for the self healing of anyone.
When we do not forgive we start to think of the incidence over and over in our minds and start feeling and living a life as a victim. On the other hand when we start to plan our vengeance we also relive our trauma every time we think of it or speak about it. This also leads us to suffer over and over from the pain and suffering that we had gone through in the first place.
All these are negated when we forgive and let go of the pain. Through meditation of scriptures and the help of God many of these traumatic experiences get healed and we start to enjoy life as it is meant to be.
I would like to leave this article with this thought. “It is better to forgive and enjoy life rather than to plan vengeance and live in unforgiveness and go through the pain over and over”