I believe that love is the most over used and misunderstood word in the
English language - and it is tied to forgiveness. I suspect that when many
people think of forgiveness they believe they have walk up to the person they
are forgiving and hug and kiss them. Ain't so. To love someone or to
forgive someone is to simply allow them to be who they are without any
interference on your part.
I used to go to an old fart chiropractor (now I'm an old fart) who had a
little plaque on the wall of his waiting room that read: "Do you love
someone enough to let them do anything they wish?" And for me, that's
the basic meaning of love. Love also doesn't mean you have to be accepting
of everything that another person is doing. But it does mean to at least
try and stay out of their way.
I think that forgiveness is also misunderstood right along with the word
love. To forgive someone, to love them - is to let them go. There
are some people who I have forgiven who I wouldn't walk across the street to say
hello to if I saw them, but that doesn't mean I haven't forgiven them. It
also doesn't mean that I don't love them either.
Before you love others, you have to love yourself first. I'm still
working on that and the more I forgive myself, the more I love myself and am
able to let others be just who they are.