Truly forgiving is not always so easy. Even when you think you have forgiven it comes up for review again and again. Often you think you've forgiven and it's a done deal but it isn't. Rather it's more like a constant practice, like the discipline of a daily workout.
Often we are hurt and scarred physically and emotionally and are not fully aware of it until our later years. An undercurrent of resentment remains. The extent of it often couldn't be admitted to when younger. I recall at 32 going through a hard time and having it affect my teeth. I hadn't been to a dentist in years and my dad recommended his and in need I had 16 fillings done, all mercury fillings. A tooth was cracked in the process and I lost it. I knew about mercury and suggested to the dentist it was dangerous and not good, but he stubbornly countered my arguments. In a weakened state, I gave in as we often do in a weakened state.
Later, more and more studies have come out against mercury fillings. Videos have been made showing saliva touching a tooth with mercury and emitting an ether. This mercury ether can go right to your brain. Studies have shown the brains of sheep shrink when exposed to mercury. There's a reason why dentists wear gloves. Perhaps the high suicide rate and illness rate among dentists is related. Switzerland has banned mercury fillings. Granted composite fillings have their own drawbacks. Still, however, mercury is mercury and its in your mouth for years. Later in life, if your immune system is sluggish, infections don't seem to go away, sinuses are present(the mucous trying to rid your body of it) and your vibrancy is not there, one might recall the original incident and the person who placed the time bomb in your system. You also might recall all the effort and time spent trying to find the cause of your ailment.
In this situation also bothersome was the lack of loyalty from my dad, or at the least indifference. He stayed friendly with this dentist and still used him until recently. I heard it even said he was like a son to him. Of course one can see only what one can see. You can't force awareness onto people. And one can forgive and get over it and move on. But if the ailment does real damage, and the person's blindness and lack of acknowledgment continues unabated, deep seated resentments remain no matter what you claim. As you get older it is harder to sweep this under the table. You can live with it, but some resentment still pops up. With age you see the tally and can't cover it up with easy words and hopes for the future. You are in the future.
Still, we know intellectually and spiritually forgiveness has to reign supreme. So then what do we do? Forgiving out of guilt or mechanically won't work for long. We can't force it. Confessing that we still harbor resentment is good but still isn't the thing itself. It is either there or it isn't. The answer lies in a bigger understanding that pushes your mind and spirit onto a higher level.
This understanding might go something like this. We are alive and live in a dimension called 'time.' It is a privilege to be in 'time.' Why? Because without such an existence we would know nothing. We would not be or never have been. Think if you never 'were.' Better to 'be.' Time however, has a price. It is flawed. How so? It ends and everything in it ends, including us. We are in a sense time machines that run out of fuel. Our existence here is tentative. Many things can cause our end or much pain. Other people who are cruel, or even those who love us, are capable of this. I recall a story of Bhudda who died when drinking the polluted water of a follower. He was not mad and forgave it.
No matter what we do, we cannot overcome our impermanence. We are not capable of gaining enough knowledge or wisdom or truth to do so. Something will cause us to succumb, even a germ. So what can we expect? We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people who can hurt us unwillingly or willingly.
This is 'time.' It is imperfect by its very nature. Yet it is in this imperfect dimension that we come to know ourselves. What we get a glimpse of from time to time is that there is more, there is something after time, there is a kind of timelessness. In a sense letting go of what attaches us to time frees us to become timeless. This is not just about the good things. This is also about the bad things that cause anger and resentment. Holding on to them means we are holding on to time. We don't want that. We want to find the way to the everlasting dimension of timelessness. This is the deepest reason to move in the direction of forgiveness. We want to live forever. We have a chance to. Something will end this life in time. It is meant to. So how can we be mad at it? It was meant to be. Something here will hurt us and instigate our end while we are here. The secret is to understand that this is meant to be so we can begin a larger journey into timelessness. This understanding will gradually provide the underlying cure for the resentments and anger that remain in us and gradually turn into a natural forgiveness.