From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-taran/learning-to-forgive_b_1322686.html
Have you ever tried to be happy, yet something just irked you under the surface — a feeling that you had not been seen, appreciated, loved? Or even worse, a feeling of betrayal, total loss of trust or even violation? What can be done? The way out is forgiveness. Let’s make something clear from the get go. It’s not about saying that what happened to hurt you was OK — it was not. It’s about adjusting your outlook and the way you deal with a situation so that it does not entrap you, keeping you stuck in anger, sadness or frustration for years to come. Your forgiveness opens the door to your own freedom. A quote I love is, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” — Louis B. Smedes.
Dr. Fred Luskin of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project defines forgiveness as “the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel and become a hero instead of a victim in the story that you tell. Forgiveness is the experience of peacefulness in the present moment.”
My parents are getting older, and I find that long-buried feelings like “Why couldn’t they be the perfect parents I had wished for?” coming to the forefront of my mind. I thought that I had dealt with this sticky stuff long ago — what’s up? Hey, I know I should feel happy to even have parents who possess several amazing qualities and who are still here! I also know the drill: Everyone is human and does the best they can with the knowledge they have. Yet these feelings of irritation and sadness still arise. So I am trying to write this to learn to forgive, to let go and create more mental space in my life. More room for happiness! Here’s what I’ve found: