The ultimate reason that we forgive is to keep our own hearts soft, to allow our own soul the freedom to breathe and to keep us as humans in a state of grace.
We never do it for the other person. We let go of the pain so our wounds can heal, release the hurt, betrayal and disappointment so we can experience the ultimate freedom.
It does not condone the behavior of family, friends or foes, nor does it give them permission to do it again. Forgiveness does not make us a doormat.
We forgive so that we may be free. To love again, to laugh again, to live again and to let go of the shackles around our hearts.
This includes forgiving ourselves as well.