At the heart of every attempt to forgive another is an underlying, ever present, deeper unease we seek to cure – the choice we made to trust the one we are trying to forgive.
It is not the person that hurt us we need to forgive, but ourselves for being so vulnerable and allowing them into our lives. If only we could have seen what was coming, if only we could have avoided the hurt, right?
Love is going to happen. Hurt is going to happen. It is not about avoiding suffering. It is about facing our fear of being wounded again. And if we can forgive ourselves for past choices that made us so susceptible in the first place and muster up the courage to take that risk again (with the additional knowledge in moving forward), we retain more virtuous qualities like innocence, humility, and equanimity.
Forgiving yourself is a kind, gentle path to nurturing self-scrutiny and deconstructing the ego. Forgiveness is the practice of compassion on ourselves. And without that, compassion for others is impossible.