I read once that forgiveness is letting go of the hope for a better past. It's amazing that we could even spend time hoping that the past could be any different than what it was, because it's gone. It's done. In the words of Robert Frost, "no more to build on there."
Yet, we do it all the time. We linger in the past, thinking of the 'what ifs' and the 'if onlys'. Agonizing over the 'couldas' , 'wouldas' and shouldas'. And agony it is. For it's done. What's done is done. It cannot be otherwise. It cannot be changed. We are here now in this present moment and that's all we have.
I heard a great quote from Eckhart Tolle about forgiveness that gave me pause:
"If her past were your past; her pain your pain; her level of consciousness your level of consciousness; you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion, peace."
There is profound wisdom for me in this. It is such a loving way to look at others and myself. May we all experience this empathy and compassion.