To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.
Once upon a time there lived a woman who had a bad temper. She screamed at and scolded everyone around her. For most of her life she believed the fiery rage inside her was everyone else’s fault.
She went to see a well respected Buddhist monk to ask for advice. The monk told her to take a large clay jug from his kitchen, fill it with water, and stand outside on the sidewalk in front of his house. “It’s hot outside, and that’s a busy sidewalk with lots of pedestrians,” the monk told her as he pointed out the front window of his house. “When a pedestrian passes, you must offer them a glass of water. Do this until there is no rage left inside you.”
So she stood outside with a water jug and served water to pedestrians every day for the next several weeks. And every morning she asked herself if rage still pulsed through her veins. And every morning the answer was, “yes.” So she continued serving water. Until this afternoon when a burly man walked up, snatched the water jug out of her hand, drank directly out of it, and then tossed the jug on the ground as he continued on his way.