Holding on to the anger you feel about your past is like living with a wild squirrel in your house. It slowly destroys your house from the inside out. But, maybe the squirrel has been living in your house for so long you’re not sure what life would be like without it.
Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened to you. Instead, it’s simply letting the wild squirrel living in your house free. Forgiveness is making the choice to stop carrying the weight of your past. It’s giving up your right to get even with those who hurt you. Forgiveness is making the choice to move forward, not allowing your past to hold you hostage anymore. Forgiveness researcher Dr. Enright writes, “Forgiveness is an act of mercy toward an offender, someone who does not necessarily deserve our mercy. It is a gift to our offender” (Forgiveness is a Choice, p. 25).