"There are people in your life who've come and gone; they let you down, they hurt your pride. Put it all behind you, cause life goes on; if you keep carrying that anger, it'll eat you up inside. I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter.... I think it's about forgiveness." Heart of the Matter, Don Henley
A facebook friend recently posted that she is still have trouble moving on from a break up that happened over a year ago. She was abused and betrayed by her ex, and was asking how others have dealt with being hurt badly, by someone whom you would have never expected to hurt you at all? It's a tough question, but something with which I have some experience. So I commented on her post.
"It might sound silly, but forgiveness worked for me. Once I forgave my ex, it no longer mattered that he'd hurt me or didn't love me anymore. I was free to move on."
It made me think of the Don Henley song. The lyrics say just what I was trying to convey in my comment. A lot of people think forgiveness is about the other person; about letting him off the hook. As though, by forgiving him, you're saying that what he did is just fine.
I forgave my ex, yes. But I've never forgotten how hurt and angry I was when we went through the toughest parts of our split. I simply made a choice that I wasn't going to let it consume me anymore.
I forgave him for my own sake, not his. I did it so I could get on with my life; so that I could focus on friendships (new and old), start dating, and learn to take care of myself, my home, do things on my own, etc.
Sometimes, forgiveness isn't about the other person at all. Sometimes, it's about you letting go, and moving on. You owe it to yourself.