Barriers to Forgiveness, Part 9: Impatience
Patience. To forgive requires much patience because we cannot rush the process; we cannot will the end of the pain; we cannot automatically change the one who hurt us. Patience with perseverance…..and an acceptance of the suffering are keys.
When we have impatience with the forgiveness process we are misunderstanding what the process is. It unfolds. We do not rush through it. I have come to realize that this unfolding, this waiting for relief from the suffering, is a time of strengthening. It is a time of learning a greater humility. We are not the ones who always are in control.
In the waiting comes wisdom. We learn more about ourselves and our ability to endure even when there is great pain. We learn who other people are. They can hurt us, but ultimately they cannot destroy us from our inside because we see our own strength developing. Out of waiting comes a stretching of our patience and a shrinking of our impatience. Out of waiting comes growth as persons.
This one I have to “own.” I get impatient with the process of forgiveness and wish it to be over long before I should expect this. I also have found that letting the process unfold, along with my careful working on forgiveness, increases my patience.
Insightful post. And thanks for your insights, Chris. Yes, I think that impatience is a challenge for a lot of us. The blog puts it in perspective for me
Patience can work the other way, too. Those who hurt us need to practice patience. If they did,then injustice would not pour out as often or as poisonously.
This is an important post for parents. They cannot necessarily expect their children to “forgive and forget” if there was deep hurt. The children may need a little time to cool down and then reflect at least a bit on what they are doing when they are forgiving and accepting that forgiveness.