People say that forgiveness starts with forgiving oneself. That may or not be the case, and I personally think that God doesn’t care where you start to forgive. The importance is in the starting not how.
I’ve noticed that as I get older and hopefully wiser, I find such emotions as revenge, anger, bitterness, too exhausting to keep a hold of. When we forgive and forget we have a lot more energy for what is important in what is left of our life.
People still ask me aren’t I angry or bitter about some of the things that happened to me. I usually answer with some sort of platitude like “bitterness is too bitter a pill to swallow,” but I more and more realize that all that has happened to me, the good and the bad, has make me who I am today, and I am the better man for the bad as much as the good. I need what little energy I have to use it being the best person I can be today, and let emotions like anger and bitterness drag someone else down. How can I be angry about something that made me better? So in truth a lot of people who I initially thought I should be forgiving, I should be thanking. I don’t know if my convoluted rationale is a way to forgiveness, but I think God may get a brief chuckle out of it anyway.
Hardest to forgive I think are the people you love or loved and loved you — those family and friends who did something that broke your heart. It might be something as minor as an old buddy who stole your girlfriend, to a parent who cheated on your other parent, and all permutations of someone close doing something at the time which seemed unforgivable. God teaches us that no one is unforgivable. I think age and time teaches us that lesson as well. As I get older I remember the love and the fun and the commonality, and whatever was unforgivable becomes more trivial, understandable, or turned out to be good for me.
One day I will have to ask God is forgiveness similar to letting something go. I’m interested in his answer. Are you?