I may have blogged about this before, but even if I did, one can never be reminded enough of the value in forgiving another.
I've been told by many people that I am a very forgiving person, and I give way too many chances. I don't know why I'm so forgiving, but I believe it's just in the way I've been wired. Forgiveness is a decision, it's not something that's automatic, you choose to forgive. When you decide to forgive someone, it doesn't make you look like less of a person, or like a fool, or that the other person has gotten away with anything. What forgiveness does for the forgiver...is that it releases them from the stress of remembering an act, or remembering to hate someone for the wrong that happened to them. My natural response when I see someone or pass by a person is to speak to them. There was a time when I chose not to talk to a lady that I worked with because she did or said something to upset me. So I treated her like wallpaper...saw her but didn't pay her any attention. As time went on, one particular morning she came in to work and said, "Good morning Michelle" and my response was "Good Morning" with a smile. I was SO UPSET with myself because I forgot that I didn't speak to her or deal with her on any level unless it was work related. After I got over my initial shock with myself (LOL), I started speaking to her on my own. It took more energy to remember the issue, than it was to just get over it and act like I had some sense.
In forgiving a person, it doesn't mean that you have to go back to the same level of interaction you had before the infraction, it just means that you chose to get past it and release that negative energy from your life. Forgiveness is for YOU not THEM. Who needs the extra stress these days?