1. a. to give up resentment of or claim to requital for an insult… (or injury)
b. to grant relief from a payment… (or a debt owed)
2. to cease to feel resentment against an offender
Now we have a starting point to understanding forgiveness. So bottom line forgiveness is the release of our own personal resentments and grievances for wrongs against us. It is an act that is internalized within the self, not one of an external nature. This is the answer to what forgiveness IS and WHO it is for. Though a result of forgiveness at times can be less 'punishment' for the one who has caused the pain; forgiveness is completely and totally about the person wronged.
It is so important for us to release these feelings of resentment and pain. When we release them we begin to heal from the wounds which have been inflicted upon us. We begin to move forward with our lives instead of being stuck in the past which continually circles the offending event.
To help along with the process of forgiveness I appeal to Hebe, the goddess of forgiveness. The following is a prayer I use to help me with releasing and forgiving those who have wronged me.
[Light a pure white candle. Have some sage and lavender incense , oil, milk, honey, and wine ready as an offering.]
Glorious youthful daughter of Father Zeus and Mother Hera,
Cup bearer of the gods, wife of the mighty Heracles,
I pray unto you,
My heart is heavy and full of pain,
I have anger and suffering without any gain.
I ask that you wash me clean, clear my heart,
Help me release the darker part!
With smoke and flame,
and offering poured,
clean away all that I abhor.
[light incense and pour offerings]
I forgive all those in my life,
I release with them with love and light,
As I am free so are they,
All in peace from the this day!
Awen! So shall it be!
Merriam-Webster. "forgive." n.d. Merriam-Webster.com. HTML. 17 July 2013.