Think about it. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people. All of our relationships are broken because of it. This brokenness makes forgiveness an essential part of our lives. We must learn to forgive because we don't love perfectly! I will both cause hurt and be hurt in life; it is undeniable and inescapable. The way I can be heal and offer healing to others is by accepting and practicing forgiveness in my life.
Remember that God's path to healing travels through forgiveness. He paved a way for us to all be forgiven of everything we have ever done that was against his heart. This path cost him his son. That is the cost and high calling of forgiveness. When we forgive and release those that have hurt us, we become more like God in our character.
When we forgive we also release ourselves. We are released from the crippling effects of bitterness and resentment. Sometimes we think holding onto these feelings is a means of revenge on those that have hurt us, but don't be fooled. You are only hurting yourself by clinging to anger. Forgiveness will break the hold those that have hurt you have on your life.
Forgiveness isn't about having conditions and setting goal posts for other people to meet before they are released. It is unconditional. Forgiveness also isn't rolling over in life and subjecting yourself to endless abuse and hurt. Sometimes you have to stand for what is right and that can mean moving away from a negative influence. Forgiveness is a balm for broken hearts. If you practice forgiveness, you will find that God will take the broken pieces of your life and replace them with his peace.