After almost 30 years of relentless, painful struggle, it arrived. It didn’t arrive with angels singing, tears flowing, or joyous laughter. No waves of overwhelming emotion. It didn’t happen with great insight. No profound understanding preceded it, just weeks of such fatigue that I slept ten or more hours each day. It may have been a result of hard work, dedicated thinking, persistent meditation and prayer, or just exhaustion. But the fact remains, I don’t really know how I forgave or the exact time that it occurred. It just happened.
I realized I had forgiven with the noticeable absence of the many oppressive, unhappy memories that had accompanied me for the majority of my adult life. I realized that those feelings and memories of sadness, confusion, and hopelessness had dissolved. It may have taken months or years, or just an instant. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. Quiet, benign indifference best describes what this forgiveness feels like, followed by the sincere belief that those experiences simply don’t matter anymore. They are as remote as the 3 individuals who created the harm.
The injury is gone. The damage is repaired.
And that’s all there is to forgiving.