The most creative power given to the human spirit is the power to heal the wounds of a past it cannot change. We do our forgiving alone inside our hearts and minds; what happens to the people we forgive depends on them. The first person to benefit from forgiving is the one who does it. Forgiving happens in three stages: we rediscover the humanity of the person who wronged us; we surrender our right to get even; and we wish that person well. Forgiving is a journey; the deeper the wound, the longer the journey. Forgiving does not require us to reunite with the person who broke our trust. We do not forgive because we are supposed to; we forgive when we are ready to be healed. Waiting for someone to repent before we forgive is to surrender our future to the person who wronged us. Forgiving is not a way to avoid pain but to heal the pain. Forgiving someone who breaks a trust does not mean that we give him his job back. Forgiving is the only way to be fair to ourselves. Forgivers are not doormats;
to forgive a person is not a signal that we are willing to put up with with what he does. Forgiving is essential; talking about it is optional.