Today a friend of mine wrote and asked me, “Isn’t gratitude the best way to forgive?”
This is true if you are grateful that the person who hurt you is a messenger of your karma and is helping you learn valuable lessons for your spiritual purification and advancement. But that realization may not be possible for everyone, at least not immediately after one is offended and hurt.
Resentment is dealt with by most people by blaming the “offender.” It is how they process their hurt. It is the way they numb their pain. Yet blame and retaliation never release the resentment, they only mask it for awhile while actually intensifying it. Forgiveness is the only way to overcome the pain.
If one is aware that whatever happens is willed by God for his or her ultimate benefit, and thus grateful for whatever comes to him or her, there will be no one to blame and no one to forgive.